Fire, by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley

One small spark brought fire awake
Winding like a small black snake.
Fire flickered, fire crept
Flames snickered, bushfire leapt.

A fire starts small but quickly grows, spreading across the landscape, lighting up the trees, the sky – and even houses. People flee as fire fighters battle to bring the monster under control. Afterwards, there is sorrow at the devastation, but there is also hope, as comfort is spread by friends and by strangers, and by signs of life returning.

Fire is a wonderful picture book collaboration form the team which also produced Flood. Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. The rhyming text seems to echo the actions of the fire, taking the reader n a breathless journey through the smoke and ash and beyond to the gradual restoration of calm. The illustrations capture the mood of the fire, as well as the contrasting landscape before and after.

A wonderful way to open up discussion about the impact of bushfire, both for those who have experienced it and those who haven’t.


Fire, by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley
Scholastic Press, 2014
ISBN 9781742838175

Available from good bookstores and online.