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Flotsam
by David Wiesner




Overview -
In this wordless masterpiece from a two-time Caldecott medalist, a bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam--anything floating that has been washed ashore. Full color.

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More About Flotsam by David Wiesner

 
 
 

Overview

In this wordless masterpiece from a two-time Caldecott medalist, a bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam--anything floating that has been washed ashore. Full color.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618194575
  • ISBN-10: 0618194576
  • Publisher: Clarion Books
  • Publish Date: September 2006
  • Page Count: 40
  • Reading Level: Ages 4-7
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 11.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.06 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

The mystery of what lies beneath

Two-time Caldecott Medalist David Wiesner turns from the flying frogs in Tuesday and the cloud factory in Sector 7 to the mysteries of the sea in yet another brilliant, wordless picture book, Flotsam. Like many of the author's creations, this story begins with an inquisitive child, a boy observing crabs with his magnifying glass along the ocean shore. Without warning, a wave deposits a barnacle-encrusted Brownie-style camera, labeled the "Melville Underwater Camera," before the protagonist.

After waiting a seemingly endless hour for the film to be developed, the boy views a set of fantastical underwater photographs: wind-up fish with gears, an octopus family reading to its young by the light of bioluminescent fish, a colony of tiny people residing atop the shells of sea turtles, and stretching starfish-islands. But wait! There's also a photograph of a girl holding a photograph of a boy. And within that photograph is another boy holding a photograph of a girl. Puzzled, the boy first uses his magnifying glass, and then a microscope, to observe each child's photograph, ending with a sepia-toned, turn-of-the-20th-century image of a boy his own age. An open-ended conclusion leaves room for any child's sense of wonder to carry on.

Wiesner proves why he is an award-winning storyteller and illustrator with vivid watercolors that range from vignettes to spectacular full- and double-page panoramic views. Wonderful displays of imagination are evident throughout, as are small touches of humor, such as a photo of overly eager visiting aliens and their unruly children. Older and more astute readers will find many surprises, including a hint to the boy's discovery in the book's cover art, a reference to Wiesner's The Three Pigs on the title page, and a clever imitation of a classic Japanese print, Katsushika Hokusai's "The Great Wave at Kanagawa."

Most importantly, Wiesner continues to show children that things aren't always what they seem. Would the Caldecott committee consider a three-peat?

Angela Leeper is an educational consultant and writer in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

 

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