Jackie French

Scholastic Australia
1 August 2011


Jackie French

The rain stopped, but the wall of water surged into the river.Hour by hour the river rose. In some places water onlynibbled at the banks, but in others it burst across the riverbends… up into the streets.It sounded like a helicopter.It sounded like a flood.Inspired by the Queensland floods, Flood is a moving and sensitive story of a natural disaster as seen through the honest eyes of a cattle dog that has been separated from his family. The floodwater mercilessly rips through the towns, and finally recedes, leaving a devastating widespread path of destruction. But from the ruins, courage and kindness emerge. A tiny tugboat heroically guides a wayward boardwalk out to sea; rescuers pluck friends and strangers from the dangerous waters; communities gather, providing aid, shelter, comfort and-above all-hope.


The water brings relief to the dry land initially, but it quickly becomes the enemy as the river bursts its banks and turns into a flood. This picture book depicting the recent Queensland floods has a simple but powerful storyline. But the real star of the book is Bruce Whatley’s evocative watercolours, many taken from an aerial perspective and featuring a lone cattle dog, that cleverly evince the small victory of a tiny tugboat or the banding together of humans against the overwhelming forces of nature. As the waters retreat, aid emerges from friends and strangers to help life return to some semblance of normality.

With all profits raised going to the Flood Disaster Relief Appeal, this beautiful picture book helps explain Australia’s extreme weather events to children and shows how we cope as a nation.

Angela Crocombe is a childrens’ book specialist at Readings St Kilda.


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