'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 12 August 2011

Review: Flood

Commissioned by Scholastic following the Queensland floods, which are estimated to have taken not
only the lives of many Australians, but have caused around $30 billion in damage, this beautiful book by celebrated literary teach Whatley and French, is all about the great Aussie spirit - and how Australians band together to help each other in times of need.

Brisbane-born French has penned a beautiful and heart-wrenching tale. She writes poignantly, descriptively and with eye-widening suspense as rain begins to fall and fall and fall and then suddenly there are white sheets of savage rain slashing the sky and the ground begins to swell with waves.

Sofas and trees are sucked into the hungry, swirling river - and then - disaster! a massive boardwalk snaps free of its foundations and floats towards town, threatening all in its way. But then a tug boat appears. A teensy tiny tugboat. What can it do? It can nudge that jetty very slowly, very gently out to sea. It may be be tiny against the scale of this mass disaster, but every little effort helps so very much...

And therein lies the tear-jerking metaphor for the people of Australia. The 'little' people who stood in chest high water and wrenched children from cars, who searched in the dark water for friends and family, who took people in and fed them and housed them and comforted their loss.

This is an important book about strength, hope and togetherness. Whatley's extraordinary illustrations literally drip on the page and lend intense atmosphere to the storyline. This talented artist actually drew the images with his left hand (he is right-handed), making their beauty all the more astounding. Whatley says that painting with his left hand creates more emotionally charged images. The images were created by standing his work up vertically on an easel, and using water-based acrylics that ran down, invoking the feel of water.

The spirit contained in Flood is goosebumpingly poignant. Books are available in stores Australia-wide - get one and help be a tugboat in the lives of so many who have lost so much.

All net proceeds of this book will be donated by Scholastic to the Queensland Premier's Flood Disaster Relief Appeal. 6,000 copies of the book will also be donated to Australian primary school libraries.

Title: Flood
Author: Jackie French
Illustrator: Bruce Whatley
Publisher: Scholastic, $16.99 RRP
Publication Date: 2 August 2011
Format: Soft cover
ISBN: 978174830728
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book