The rain stopped, but the wall of water surged into the river. Hour by hour the river rose. In some places water only nibbled at the bank, but in others it burst across the river bends…up into the streets. It sounded like a helicopter.
It sounded like a flood.
In January 2011 much of Queensland and parts of NSW were subjected to terrible flooding. the rest of Australia – and the world – watched in horror at the destruction and loss of life. In Floodthe team of Jackie French and Bruce Whatley capture those times in words and pictures accessible to children.
The text explains the flood – its origins, its sights and sounds – and specific instances of heroism, such as the tugboat driver who stopped the boardwalk from doing further harm. The illustrations highlight the damage and desolation with watery browns and blues, as well as the courage and heroism of volunteers working int he midst of the floods. The image of a dog as a watcher, and participant, in many spreads gives youngsters a character to empathise with.
French and Whatley have teamed together on brighter subjects before – most famously the. Exploration of such a serious topic required a different approach, and Wahtley’s use of different drawing and painting techniques helped here. Whatley has used his non-dominant hand for the images and his use of acrylic washes highlights the feeling of wetness.
Profits from the sale of Flood are being donated to the Qld Premier’s Disaster Relief appeal.
Flood, by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley
This book is avaialable in good bookstores or through Fishpond.