Alvaro F. Villa, illustrator
Capstone Young Readers
Capstone Website: When a flood threatens to destroy a family’s home, they must leave. What will they return to once the waters recede? This intense, beautiful look at a flood’s effect on a family carries a simple message of hope and recovery.
A young family of four lives out in the country. Suddenly approaching the home from the west looks to be a disheveled tornado and it is aimed right at the house. Weather reports tell of the coming storms and help the parents decide to sandbag around their home. But will it help?
As the rain falls, the young family unhappily packs up what they can and leave for safer ground. While the rains increase, the family sleeps peacefully in a hotel . . . except for mom and dad, who continue watching weather reports. The water gains great heights and is now building up, destroying everything in its path. This includes the young family’s home. Water rages through the downstairs, tossing dining chairs and popping framed photos off the wall. Outside the porch has tilted and the roof has large, gaping holes.
When the raging storm finally passes the family returns, devastated by what they see, yet determined to repair their home. The home is looking better than new. The kids are playing outside once more and the parents look relieved. Everything is back to normal . . . until Mother Nature sends her fury once more.
Flood is one of the most powerful books I have seen in a very long time. The book has beautiful illustrations that alone convey the story of the fierceness of nature and the resilience of man. Flood allows children to tell the story as they turn each page, revealing exquisite art on each spread. Never have illustrations delivered so much. Kids will see a complete drama from happy beginning, to tragic lose, rebuilding, and finally the restoration of home and hope.
Flood is the perfect therapy book for those working with kids who have lived through devastating storms such as Sandy. A child can tell his story, using the book, and safely express feelings and emotions he may otherwise be afraid to express. Parents can do the same if their family, or someone close, finds their home destroyed by the wrath of nature. I think Flood should be required equipment for teams responding to the human side of natural disasters.
Teachers can use Flood as a conversation starter or in a creative writing course. Not one word is in the book, yet kids can add them as they see the story unfolding. Flood is intended for children age four to eight but I think older children can benefit from looking at this book. Children will not feel invincible against nature after looking at Flood. These illustrations provide a powerful image of the strength of nature, its sudden onslaught, and human frailty. I love Flood for the illustrations are some of the most dramatic seen in children’s books. The illustrations are beautiful and haunting; devastating and hopeful. Those who collect children’s books for the illustrations need to snap Flood up before Capstone needs a second printing. If Flood has a message, it is this: respect nature and hope is never lost.
Alvaro F. Villa, illustrator website blog twitter facebook Capstone Young Readers website Released February 1, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-62370-001-0 32 Pages Ages 6 to 8 Grades 1 to 3 . Copyright © 2013 by Capstone Young Readers, used with permission. Illustrations: Copyright © 2013 by Alvaro F. Villa
- Children’s Book Review: Flood, by Alvaro F. Villa (susanheim.blogspot.com)