'Quickly, the Hungry Fox stuck out his brush and curling it round, caught Fussy Hen as she floated by. Now the fox had his hen but he was still clinging on tight to the tail of the ox...'
When the flood comes the ox, fox and hen will have to work as a team and cooperate in a very unusual way if they are going to reach land safely.
Watercolour, waxing and sprayed ink to obtain a 'splattery' look.
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Story and illustrations: Gillian McClure
U.K. Publisher: Plaister Press, 2014
....This quietly told fable is pictured in suitably fluid, semi-transparent water colour, fine broken line drawing, and sprayed inks. The draughtsmanship is assured. The sequence opens in earthy hues, then as water rises, luminous blues and tones of rose madder and violet alternate with delicate green and umber, and float upon the picture plane. The ink spattering creates a homogenous effect – the forms are all treated the same – whether mud, fur, feather, water, or sky – thus the style of the illustration enhances the main theme of the story.
Jane Doonan, The School Librarian 62-4 Winter 2014
Three animals – two of whom are arch-enemies, the third merely disgruntled – are thrown together in a flood. Finding unexpected skills like steering, swimming and hanging on, they finally reach a small hillock and scramble onto it to wait for the water to go subside, while contemplating their new found reliance on one another.
A simple, yet gratifying story demonstrating the need for cooperation in adversity, is beautifully illustrated with splashy textures and muted colours unfolding into exciting compositions which show the creatures from interesting new angles. Smaller creatures witness their struggle, adding gentle humour to the finely honed text. This is a good book for discussing the nature of reliance and teamwork.
Jana Novotny Hunter, Books for Keeps No 208 September 2014
Author and artist Gillian McClure can always be relied upon to produce titles that read like familiar, loved classics from the start – and this delightful tale of three creatures who are normally at odds but find themselves forced to cooperate when weather proves overpowering is no exception. The characterisation is clever and sure, especially when it comes to the over- anxious, fidgety Fussy Hen, and the gorgeous, watercolour and sprayed ink illustrations are so powerful and evocative that’s it’s almost a surprise to put the book down at the end and discover your hands are still dry. McClure is and all-round class act – her use of colour to create atmosphere is masterly, and there’s a satisfying rhythm and touching poetry in her deceptively sparse prose, indeed, the opening and closing pages are something close to perfection.
Teach Nursery issue 4.6
Forget Noah’s Ark! When the floods arrive, there are three creatures who have their own ideas about keeping their heads above water.
Flood, a captivating picture story underlining the importance of co-operation in times of trouble, is the work of author and illustrator Gillian McClure who has set up Plaister Press to bring back into print some of her most popular books and to publish exciting new titles.
McClure’s distinctive illustrative style, which involves the use of watercolour, waxing and sprayed ink to obtain a ‘splattery’ look, is ideal for this warm-hearted cautionary tale about pulling together when a soaking wet disaster strikes.
It just won’t stop raining and out in the fields, Old Slodger the Ox keeps his head down and his eyes to the ground. Close by is Fussy Hen who is too busy squawking and looking this way and that for the cunning Hungry Fox. And sure enough the Hungry Fox has his beady eyes on Fussy Hen. What none of them has spotted is that the waters are rising rapidly and when the three animals finally realise that they must work together as a team if they are to reach land safely, there is a danger they might have left it too late…
A funny, characterful and beautifully illustrated way to show that getting on swimmingly solves a lot of problems!
Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post
A warm and beautifully illustrated story about cooperation in adversity.
It's a lovely book, pitch perfect, I would say. And what so impresses me is not just the onward sweep of the story and the characters (whose actions demonstrate what the oft-quoted concept of "We're all in this together" really means), but the colour palette […] used to evoke the general wateriness.
And on top of that, the book is so beautifully produced as usual. The Plaister Press books really are growing into a most distinguished series.
I love FLOOD. For several reasons. The brevity of the text. The drama, real drama. The characterisation. The way you enable us to suspend our disbelief and accept a pacific outcome. But what makes the book quite outstanding, and to my mind the most successful of all, is the fluidity of the way you have set the text, the images of ox, fox and hen wrapping round each other, and the all- envelopping downpour that swirls and rushes from page to page.
On the 3-7 years longlist for the 2016 UKLA Book awards
Nominated for the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal