Ford St Publishing
ISBN: 9781925272406 (HC)
Publication date: October 2016 (HC)
March 2017 (PB)
Price: AUD $24.95
“Adam Wallace was 11 years old when the Ash Wednesday bushfires threatened his home.
Forced to leave with his grandmother, no car and a budgie in a cage, it was only a wind change that saved Adam’s home.
The memory still burns bright, even though Adam now lives in a bushfire-free area.”
With bushfire season approaching this publication could not be timelier. Of course we have seen a number of excellent titles, particularly picture books, over the years but this truly is exceptional. This is the first vivid and gripping account of a wildfire told from the PoV of the fire itself. This in itself makes the reader stop and reflect, particularly with the frontispiece of the smouldering cigarette butt.
There is no doubt that our Australian bushfires are frightening and so often cause such mass destruction and loss of life that we can tend to cast blame on the fire itself. But as we know more often than not the blame lies elsewhere. Most anger-making of all is those despicable persons who deliberately light them.
With this new slant, young readers can come to an understanding that it is not the fire’s ‘fault’. Starting as a spark, fuelled by an ever-demanding wind, the flames are just as much helpless as those who have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed or faced the fear and danger in quelling such blazes.
Adam’s text moves from whimsical to urgent and as always Andrew Plant’s illustrations are stunning. What a superb combination!
In my opinion, this is a ‘must have’ for your collection and should be on your read aloud list for Term 4 as we gird our metaphorical loins for another Australian summer.
Highly recommended for readers from Prep upwards.