ALEX AND THE WATERMELON BOAT by Chris McKimmie

ALEX AND THE WATERMELON BOAT

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rabbit, Alex’s “most favourite stuffed toy,” has hopped out the window and is now gone. In a city flooded after days of endless rain, Alex sets out to rescue Rabbit.

The river has burst its banks, the dam is overflowing, and the water is rising. Amid this chaotic setting—depicted in equally chaotic mixed-media artwork—Alex climbs into a watermelon boat to find Rabbit. Alex appears to be a white child roughly sketched out in pencil, the outline cut out, and then collaged. Told from the child’s point of view, the book is more a description of the people, animals, objects, and situations encountered along the way than it is a story. A cat is stuck on a roof with nothing to eat. A woman and her dog are cooking on top of their house. Shops are being looted. Objects and memories are being washed away forever. Confusion reigns, and the only thing Alex can do is continue the search for Rabbit. At times arbitrary, at times whimsical, at times scary, the story meanders along with Alex. Eventually, Rabbit is found, and the two friends climb up a twisting ladder and end up back home. Alex wishes for blue skies and sunshine so a tree can be planted and the birds can come back when the tree grows. The text is set in a variety of typefaces and styles, as chaotic as the artwork and the situation.

Readers may find this book confusing and difficult to follow, though it does effectively evoke the turbulence of both a cityscape and a child’s emotions after a flood. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-74331-007-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2016




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