Wednesday 10 October 2012

The Amazing Illustrated Floodsopedia

The Amazing Illustrated Floodsopedia by Colin Thompson (Random House Australia)
PB RRP $19.95
ISBN 9781742751047
Reviewed by Marian McGuinness

Grab a torch, climb under the doona and check that your funny bone is in working order. Colin Thompson, the Aussie icon of wit, wackiness and whimsy has created the ultimate guide to accompany his laugh-out-loud book series, The Floods.

I couldn’t wait to open the cover, after all the skeletal Valla was inviting me into his world of Transylvania Waters (think pun for parents) holding a placard quipping ‘Family fun with Mildew, Germs & Boils.’

The humorous tone is set from start in this gothic-themed picture book/encyclopaedia, as in ‘A is for armpit – a place to store arms.’ There are tantalising titbits of witch and wizard Flood family history, zany diagrams, horoscopes and inventions.

Not only will readers get to know the Flood family better, but also their relatives, like Artery the Wizard who is the ‘Top High Priest of the Ancient Order of the Long Nose.’

Visit Haemorrhage Lakes, the ‘ultimate in luxury holiday destinations’ where ‘every night as you sleep, all your blood is sucked out by a team of highly trained Vampire Nurses and piped down to the basement, where it is given a full service in the laundry.’

This book is not for the faint-hearted. I didn’t know if I was dreaming or having nightmares as I read the poems, fairy stories and character descriptions. It’s like living in Colin Thompson’s brain that keeps shorting out. And I loved it!

Even the page colours match the Floods’ personas: gruesome grey, bogbottom brown, germy green and pukey pink. Thompson has thought of everything to entice young readers to think outside the square. Primary school boys especially will love this brilliantly illustrated treasure chest of hilarity. I can see many emulating Thompson’s inventiveness in art class.

Colin Thompson has more that 65 books published. He is a multiple award winner, including a CBCA Picture Book of the Year and a CBCA Honour Book. His talent is boundless. So if you want to know what makes Nerlin, Mordonna and the little Floods tick, then stick your eyeballs to the page, open your mind like a plughole and get ready to go on the raft-ride of your life as you journey into Colin Thompson’s imagination.

PS – One last Floodsopedia advertisement: Old Pottybreath’s Elixir (including the ten greatest plagues of all time) with the added bonus of 87 free scabs – some rare and collectible treasures.

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