Flotsam

My very first Wordless Wednesday!   I’ve long thought that the popular Wordless Wednesday observed by quite a number of quality blogs was a great idea, but since this site is tightly focused on book reviews I’ve never found a way to participate.  But recently I stumbled upon a unique and wonderful children’s book that has NO words!

David Wiesner’s Caldecott Medal-winning Flotsam tells an intriguing and highly original story entirely in pictures.   A boy playing on a beach at low tide finds an odd, old fashioned looking camera washed ashore in a clump of seaweed.  After sharing the discovery with friends the boy takes the film from the underwater camera to be developed.   The fist pictures show amazing and highly imaginative views of strange life under the sea.   The last picture is reminiscent of the old photography trick of the boy holding a cereal box on which there is a picture of a boy holding a cereal box seemingly repeated into infinity.

The picture shows a girl holding up a picture of a child holding up a picture of another child, who in turn is holding a picture of a child holding a picture of a child, etc. etc.   Using a microscope he is able to dig down into the layers of pictures and discovers that this amazing camera has been found by other kids all over the world and long into the past.   In the final frames he takes a picture of himself holding up the photo and tosses the camera back into the sea.     Wiesner’s drawings in a beautiful soft palette are stunning and well-executed and his ability to tell a rather complex story entirely in drawings with no captions whatsoever is quite impressive.   A unique and amazing book sure to delight children and adults alike.    Highly Recommended.

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