Anna Carries Water

Anna Carries Water
Age Group: 4-8
Series: Picture Books
Illustrator: Laura James
Tag: Bestseller
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Publication Year: February 2014
ISBN: 9781896580609


Anna fetches water from the spring every day, but she can’t carry it on her head like her older brothers and sisters. In this charming and poetic family story set in Jamaica, Commonwealth Prize-winning author Olive Senior shows young readers the power of determination, as Anna achieves her goal and overcomes her fear.


Recommended by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for Black History Month 2015
Selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Children’s Books of 2014
Selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Picture Books of 2014 to Start a Conversation
Selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Picture Books of 2014 that Celebrate Diversity
Selected by Betsy Bird (Fuse8) as one of 6 favorite children’s book debuts of 2014


“This charming tale of a tropical girl who fetches water with her older sisters and brothers beautifully captures that moment of growing up when a new, and longed-for, skill just happens…The details in text and illustration (an older sister with her nose in book even as she carries water, a leaf on top of the water to prevent it from splashing) enrich the story.”

—Elisabeth Greenberg, Children’s Literature

“What I really like about this story is its message about water… Anna Carries Water is a book teachers could use to introduce a lesson about the importance of water to everyone’s daily life.”

Shelley Sommer, August 2014


“Simple, yet heartwarming…A good book to introduce how children live across the world. It is also a great book to start the conversation about how children have overcome their own limitations successfully.”

Reading Today Online, June 2014

“Anna Carries Water is a sterling example of how multi-cultural literature can appeal to all, and how the craft of a great artist can elevate a worthy narrative into a picture book masterpiece that will appeal equally to adults and art lovers everywhere.”

Wonders in the Dark, April 2014


“Beautifully illustrated, printed, and written, author Olive Senior and illustrator Laura James together have tapped into a story instantly understandable to a child from any culture in this wide world in which we live. Sibling jealousy, the desire to be more grown-up than you are, and a good old-fashioned ridiculous fear combine to make this one of the more charming books I’ve seen this year.”

School Library Journal, February 2014


“The rhythmic and lyrical text and the brightly coloured and interesting illustrations will make this picture book a good choice for a read aloud.”

—Resource Links, February 2014

“James … allows her bold acrylic paintings in tropical colors to sprawl across wide double-page spreads of lush Caribbean landscapes. … When water easily comes out of a faucet, young readers rarely think about the difficult chore of carrying water, but they will empathize with Anna’s desire to reach an important milestone.”

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review), January 2014


“A gentle story about growing up. Anna’s goal is simple, but the text doesn’t trivialize her frustration at not being able to carry water the ‘grown-up’ way…James’s stunning illustrations…capture the beauty and colour of the Jamaican landscape, as well as the warmth of Anna’s family…Anna’s triumph will delight young readers.”

Quill & Quire, December 2013


“Readers of all ages will enjoy this attractive and entertaining book. Highly Recommended.”

CM Magazine, November 2013


“I encourage you to get this perfect combination of well-told and simply written story, with bright and beautiful detailed illustrations…Sometimes when our children outgrow their books, we give them away, but Anna Carries Water is a keeper, to be handed down through the generations.”

Jamaica Observer, May 2014

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