The picture book, Flood, written by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley, was given a gala launch at State Library on 2 August. Publisher, Scholastic Australia, produced the picture book in response to the 2011 Queensland floods and will donate all net proceeds from its sale to the Premier’s Flood Disaster Relief Appeal.
Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, praised the book saying, ‘It is as much a story about the strength of the spirit of Queenslanders. Good things spring from the bad,’ she said. ‘That’s Flood’s story and my message to the readers of this beautiful book.’
Author, Jackie French (above), is claimed by State Library as a ‘Queensland author’ because of her roots here. She told the gathering how she enjoyed growing up in Brisbane where floods whirled under the verandah posts and she didn’t have to go to school. Her adult perspective during the 2011 flood was more sober. She told how she fretted about her father whose home is on the riverbank and spent most of her time on the phone to him getting updates of the rising waters and how the family, neighbours and loved ones were coping and what they were doing for the flood efforts.
Illustrator, Bruce Whatley (above), discussed the courage and selfless acts of heroism shown by adults and children alike: ‘A tugboat captain fights the raging currents to guide a mass of concrete through the bridges of Brisbane, and a boy tells rescuers to take his little brother first …’
Children from three primary schools badly affected by the floods attended the launch. They were the Milton State Primary School, Northern Christian College and All Saints Primary School from Albany Creek.
General Manager of Publishing for Scholastic Australia told the children that their publishing house will be giving a copy of Flood to every school library in Australia and will also donate $100,000 worth of books to classroom libraries that have been affected by floods, cyclones and fire-damage across Australia.
Premier Bligh shares the story of Flood with two children from flood ravaged Milton State Primary School.
General Manager of Publishing for Scholastic Australia, Andrew Berkhut, presents a framed panel of an original artwork from Flood to the Chair of the Library Board of Queensland, Prof. Roland Sussex, for the State Library’s collection. The accompanying text on this page of the picture book reads, ‘There were so many heroes now.’
This signed copy of Flood will be housed in the John Oxley Library. Note Jackie’s little autograph cartoon of herself!
State Library also captures selected websites and online publications in PANDORA, Australia’s web archive. To view the online archive relating to last summer’s Queensland floods click here.
Dr Leanne Day
Queensland Authors Librarian