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Award Winners Reviewed Titles


A beautiful wordless picture book about the effects of a flood on a family and their home.

PublisherCapstone Young Readers
Age Level6-8 Years
Reading LevelGrades 1-3
Trim Size11 x 8 1/2
Page Count32
Paper Over Board



Book Links, "More than Words"

"Vivid digital artwork conveys the power of nature and the resilience required of those who live in its path." - Book Links, "More than Words"

April 1, 2016

Booklist Online - Daniel Kraus

"Villa’s wordless picture book is a haunting look at a family whose home might be wiped out by a storm. Anyone who has lived through a hurricane will catch their breath at Villa’s unnerving watercolors, generously laid out across long, horizontal spreads. Familiar, nervous moments are found on every page: Dad preparing the windows while the kids, oblivious, play on the floor. The ominous glow of a weatherman delivering his warning soliloquies. Rain-battered volunteers surrounding the house with sandbags. And, of course, the worried family deciding to drive away, waving farewell to their brave, lonely house. The inability to know what nature has in store is quietly gut-wrenching—until a devastating spread depicts the interior of the house as storming with water, furniture being tossed like sticks. Villa’s sole, but significant, misstep is the too-quick turnaround: a single spread of house repair leads to the family enjoying a perfectly restored home. A worthwhile reminder that things are darkest before dawn, though not quite up to the visceral truths that make the rest of the book so moving." - Booklist Online

March 26, 2013


EarlyWord Kids blog - Lisa Von Drasek

"This timely wordless picture book speaks volumes about coming of a storm and the resulting flood. . . .There is hope as the waters recede and although adults will shake their heads at the seemingly “easy” cleanup and restoration, children will find comfort in the sunny end." - EarlyWord Kids blog

March 1, 2013

School Library Journal - Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

"This gripping story of loss and regeneration is told wordlessly through large, beautifully painted illustrations. The opening spread depicts an idyllic scene: blue sky, lush grass, and brother and sister playing outside their charming clapboard home at the edge of the water. But the next spread reveals gathering clouds in a red sky and an anxious parent looking over his shoulder as he installs storm windows. As the spreads progress, the clouds become black and roiling, rain pours down, and not even the sandbags they stack around the house assure the family’s safety. They pack a few possessions into the car, and after regretful backward glances, drive to a hotel. Ensuing pages reveal the storm’s fury as the sky blackens and waves crash inside the house, destroying furnishings and roaring threateningly toward the stairs. A bird perched on a broken branch stands out as a lone survivor. When the family returns, their grief is evident, but they move on to rebuild. Once again the scene is idyllic: contented parents look on as their children play outside the newly renovated home surrounded by freshly planted flowers and trees. This powerful story provides ample opportunities for youngsters to elaborate on the family’s emotions as they experience the destruction of their home and ways in which they were able to cope with this loss. Matt Doeden’s Floods (Pebble Plus, 2010) is a nonfiction explanation of floods and how they occur." - School Library Journal

April 1, 2013


Shelf-Employed blog - Lisa Taylor

"...beautiful and moving, and ultimately uplifting…" - Shelf-Employed blog

January 12, 2013

Publishers Weekly

"The impact of a natural disaster on a family unfolds in wordless, digitally created spreads in this first book from Argentinean illustrator Villa. In a small house near an inland body of water, a mother and her two children enjoy leisure time in the living room; outside, however, the family's father glances skyward with concern. Dark clouds barrel toward the house on the following page, swallowing up the eerily yellow sky. With rosy cheeks and red noses, the family constructs a stone barrier around the house, secures the windows, and departs for a hotel. In ghostly sequences, the floodwaters invade the empty structure, tossing furniture and wrecking the lower levels. Upon the family's return, a moment of despair transitions quickly into productivity as they repair the damage. . . .the book is a useful resource for adults to use with children, especially given the damaging hurricanes in recent years." - Publishers Weekly

February 18, 2013


The Wall Street Journal - Meghan Cox Gurdon

"A final book for young children does not contain any words, and this seems right, because the shocking image to which "Flood" (Capstone, 32 pages, $15.95) builds, and from which it recedes, will leave the reader speechless. In a series of strongly colored paintings, Argentine illustrator Alvaro F. Villa shows a young family in a pretty clapboard house not far from an estuary. Bad weather is brewing: Great clouds boil toward the house as, inside, the family watches a TV weatherman warning of trouble ahead. Friends come with sandbags to encircle the house, but the rain gets too heavy, and the family has to leave. Though the final pages will lift the heart with scenes of renewal, the central image of floodwaters roaring into the family's living room, knocking pictures off the wall and foaming hungrily at the stairs, leaves an impression that no child will quickly forget." - The Wall Street Journal

January 25, 2013

New York Parents Magazine - Jay Bushara,

"Simple as its title. No words here – no need. . . .this story wrings a surprising dose of understated optimism from familiar recent events. Doomsday preppers: you can go home again." - New York Parents Magazine

April 1, 2013


San Francisco Book Review, Kids Book Review - Rachel, Age 5

"I thought that this book was very happy when they rebuilt their house. I am glad that they were still happy that they were still a family even though there was a flood. . . .[the] pictures were very nice." - San Francisco Book Review, Kids Book Review

March 1, 2013


Independent Publisher Online

2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Silver Winner

October 1, 2013

Children's Book Council and National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

2014 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

January 1, 2014

Alvaro F. Villa

Alvaro F. Villa

Alvaro Fernandez Villa lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has a degree in fine art. He became interested in art as a very young child, and has developed skills in both digital and traditional art forms.

Go to the Author’s Page →