Review Blog

Jul 31 2016

The big flood by Rebecca Johnson

cover image

Ill. by Kyla May. Juliet nearly a vet series, bk. 11. Penguin Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780143507031
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Adventure. Floods. Humour. Animals. Veterinarians. Another in this appealing series finds Juliet and her family facing a flood. Juliet's mother, a veterinarian, is called out to help move some alpacas to higher ground and Juliet, her friend Chelsea and her brother Max, go along to help. When the alpacas are rescued Juliet notices lots of other small animals and insects marooned on an island and persuades her father to go in a canoe to help bring them to the mainland.
Two things stand out in this junior novel - intriguing information about animals and a clever cast of children. Juliet keeps a vet diary which describes the behaviour of the animals. Readers find out that alpacas make different sounds depending on their circumstances, the names of different members of the alpaca family and that they spit when they want to frighten predators away. The spitting episode is illustrated in a very humorous drawing by Kyla May that will have the readers laughing out loud.
Readers will also be alerted to what happens to small creatures when there is a flood. Juliet and her friend Chelsea are very enterprising about working out how to rescue the animals and how to keep them safe. In addition to the information about alpacas, there is also information about other animals, stick insects in particular, that makes an interesting adjunct to the adventure of actually rescuing the animals and insects. A multiple choice quiz at the back of the book will also entertain animal lovers.
A great series to hand to the newly emerging reader or lovers of animals.
Pat Pledger

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