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by Mary Calhoun
Illustrated by Erick Ingraham

Published by Morrow Junior Books, 1997
40 pages
ISBN: 0-688-13919-1

Ages 5 - 8

If she stands on her tiptoes, Sarajean can just reach the high water mark n the wall of the fire station in her small Iowa town. Sarajean's grandmother remembers the Big Flood that left it there when Sarajean's father was just a baby. Now everyone in her town is preparing for another big flood. At first Sarajean finds all the preparations, like making sandwiches for the workers building a levee, exciting. But when her dad hauls their row boat out from the garage and ties it to a post on their front porch, she knows things are serious. In spite of Grandma's insistence that they stick it out, just as they did in the Big Flood years ago, when the rain starts to fall and the levee breaks, the family knows they must move to higher ground. Mary Calhoun's somber picture story is filled with everyday details of an ordinary midwestern family, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Her tone is perfectly matched by Ingraham's realistic pastel pencil and watercolor illustrations which show Sarajean's family as strong, distinctive individuals, busying themselves with the small things that need to be done, all action taking place against the ominous backdrop of a bruised sky. CCBC categories: Picture Books (KTH; April 7)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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