________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 34 . . . . May 4, 2012


Flood Warning. (Orca Echoes).

Jacqueline Pearce. Illustrated by Leanne Franson.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2012.
57 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 978-1-4598-0068-7.

Subject Headings:
Floods-British Columbia-Fraser River Valley-Juvenile fiction.
Fraser River Valley (B.C.)-History-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Elaine Fuhr.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



Tom and Mom hurried outside. While they had been busy moving furniture, brown murky water had crept up over the field around the cow barn. The cows were bunched in between the water and the barn. In front of the group stood one mother cow. Her head stretched out toward the calf who was stuck on the little mound of grass.

"Moo!" called the mother cow, as if calling the calf to come join her. "Maa!" replied the frighten calf, refusing to budge.

Tom was still in bare feet. He rolled up his pants again and waded out to the calf's island. He stepped up behind her, set his hands on her hind quarters and pushed. The calf did not move.

Flood warnings on the Fraser River were not an uncommon thing. Sand bags were used to help keep the rising water at bay, but they did not always work. Tom and Peggy and Tom's dog, Amos loved to run and play in the fields around their home. Tom pretended he was his favourite hero, the Lone Ranger and Amos was Silver, the Lone Ranger's faithful horse. Of course, Peggy was Tonto, the Lone Ranger's faithful companion. But on this day, all play had to wait as the waters of the river rose and poured over the sand bags, leaving the fields awash with brown, murky water that threatened to fill houses and barns and strand the scared cattle in the fields. Tom and Peggy had to help their parents. While Tom helped his mother get the furniture up to the second floor, Tom's father went to help the other men in the area sandbag and do whatever was needed. Tom was disappointed about not going with his father, but he knew he had to stay and help his mother. Tom didn't realize that he and Amos would become heroes just like the Lone Ranger and Silver.

internal art      Flood Warning is a delightful and exciting story about a young boy who, in 1948, helped save the family cattle herd by using his wits and by helping his family. This story takes place in a much simpler time for children, a period when they learned from nature and used the skills that they developed from play and the hard work of doing chores and helping on the farm. This little snippet of history is an interesting insight into the past in British Columbia and will not only be a fun read for any child but a useful resource for the study of community and Canadian history for young children.


Elaine Fuhr is a retired elementary and middle school teacher.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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