Strength of Roots
Learning Media asked Watermark's Dede Putra to illustrate the story Strength of Roots, which Marisa Maepu wrote after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the South Pacific on 29 September 2009. The story, Strength of Roots, follows a boy working on a Samoan plantation when a tsunami hits the island. The boy clings to a tree as it is battered by strong currents and an uprooted house. Caught between the tree and debris, he is saved just as darkness draws in.
The book ends on a reflective note. Having received treatment from medics, the boy goes in search of his family. In his mind, his family has the strongest roots, like those of his saviour tree.
'The dramatic story called for illustrations that reinforced the life-threatening events,' says illustrator Dede Putra.
The book is part of Learning Media School Journal Series, aimed at 11- to 12-year-old readers, and is aligned with the reading demands of the NZ school curriculum.