HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics.
`In fact, the fairies had turned him into a water-baby. A water-baby? You never heard of a water-baby. Perhaps not. That is the very reason why this story was written.'
Poor Tom is an orphan, employed by the underhand Grimes as a chimney sweep. While cleaning a chimney one day, Tom becomes lost and appears in Ellie's bedroom. She mistakes him for a thief and he flees in fright, down to the edge of a stream where he falls asleep. In his dreamlike world, he becomes a water baby, swimming with the other water babies and discovering an aquatic playground full of strange and wonderful characters.
Charles Kingsley was a clergyman and novelist whose work was wide-ranging in its scope - from historical romances to social critiques to children's books. His most popular novel, The Water Babies gave Kingsley the opportunity to explore social reform and the theory of evolution in the guise of a children's novel.