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Modern Classics: The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby (Chinese Edition)

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The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862–63 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863. It was written as part satire in support of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. The book was extremely popular in England, and was a mainstay of British children's literature for many decades, but eventually fell out of favour in part due to its prejudices (common at the time) against Irish, Jews, Americans, and the poor.

The protagonist is Tom, a young chimney sweep, who falls into a river after encountering an upper-class girl named Ellie and being chased out of her house. There he drowns and is transformed into a "water baby",as he is told by a caddisfly—an insect that sheds its skin—and begins his moral education. The story is thematically concerned with Christian redemption, though Kingsley also uses the book to argue that England treats its poor badly, and to question child labour, among other themes.

Tom embarks on a series of adventures and lessons, and enjoys the community of other water babies once he proves himself a moral creature. The major spiritual leaders in his new world are the fairies Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby (a reference to the Golden Rule), Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid, and Mother Carey. Weekly, Tom is allowed the company of Ellie, who did not drown after he did.

Grimes, his old master, drowns as well, and in his final adventure, Tom travels to the end of the world to attempt to help the man where he is being punished for his misdeeds. Tom helps Grimes to find repentance, and Grimes will be given a second chance if he can successfully perform a final penance.

By proving his willingness to do things he does not like, if they are the right things to do, Tom earns himself a return to human form, and becomes "a great man of science" who "can plan railways, and steam-engines, and electric telegraphs, and rifled guns, and so forth". He and Ellie are united, although the book states that they never marry.

Now your family can read this modern classic in simplified Chinese.

《青少年成长文库系列(套装共7册)》超值绘本,包括《捣蛋鬼日记》《绿野仙踪》《彼得潘》等。经典的童话的集合,全球儿童喜欢的畅销书,献给成长中的孩子及怀念童年的大人,值得一生回味的快乐阅读。

  《水孩子》
  这本书里的故事是你从来没有听说过的。“醒来的时候,发现自己正在小河里游来游去,身子大约只有4英寸长,精确一点只有3.87902英寸长,喉头腮腺四周长了一圈外鳃,就像水蜥蜴的外鳃一样可以吸附在别的东西上面。以为这是花边装饰,最后用手拉了拉,发现很痛,这才认定是自己身体的一部分,最好不要去碰。”到这里,一个叫汤姆的“水孩子”便从金斯利的笔下诞生了,这一次身体的蜕变是主人公汤姆重获新生的一个开始。

  从一个成天黑不溜秋的扫烟囱的被虐孩子到一个干干净净的勇敢的水孩子,再到一个真正的男子汉,一路走来既有惊奇又有艰辛。然而不管是故事里的汤姆还是读者,除了收获成长的经验以外还将收获一路的自然科学与人间的真爱。


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