You’ll likely find yourself giggling from the very first spread of this book. Fin is a forgetful character, of that there’s no doubt. He forgets to brush his wild hair, leaves his school lunch box at home and even forgets to put his trousers on again when he comes home (presumably after PE). None of those make much difference to the big picture but one night, despite having remembered to wash his face, brush his entire set of teeth and feed his fish, Fin forgets to unplug the basin and even worse, to turn off the tap. You can see pretty soon where this is going … By morning the world is under water and no it’s nothing to do with the climate crisis. Strangely though, following a knock on his door, Fin is hailed as a hero, certainly by all the fish that are now able to go anywhere and do all manner of new and exciting fun things.
Not so however by the birds and other land-dwelling animals and humans. For them things have taken a decided turn for the worse: they see the boy as anything but heroic. Now Fin is faced with a massive challenge: is this something he can fix?
To get the most from this story, young audiences will need to start right from the front endpapers and study them carefully all the way through to the final ones, both of which are assemblages of photographs – a before and after the flood. Each of Adam Stoker’s spreads, be that a single scene or a sequence of small ones, invites contemplation and conjecture and all the while children will be rooting for a final positive outcome for the protagonist when he takes that deep breath and dives back into the water.
If you’re ready for an action-packed adventure just grab your snorkel, don your flippers and plunge in.