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A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam--anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there's no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share . . . and to keep.
In each of his amazing picture books, David Wiesner has revealed the magical possibilities of some ordinary thing or happening--a frog on a lily pad, a trip to the Empire State Building, a well-known nursery tale. This time, a day at the beach is the springboard into a wildly imaginative exploration of the mysteries of the deep, and of the qualities that enable us to witness these wonders and delight in them.
A Look Inside Flotsam
(Click on Images to Enlarge)
Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 4–A wave deposits an old-fashioned contraption at the feet of an inquisitive young beachcomber. Its a Melville underwater camera, and the excited boy quickly develops the film he finds inside. The photos are amazing: a windup fish, with intricate gears and screwed-on panels, appears in a school with its living counterparts; a fully inflated puffer, outfitted as a hot-air balloon, sails above the water; miniature green aliens kowtow to dour-faced sea horses; and more. The last print depicts a girl, holding a photo of a boy, and so on. As the images become smaller, the protagonist views them through his magnifying glass and then his microscope. The chain of children continues back through time, ending with a sepia image of a turn-of-the-20th-century boy waving from a beach. After photographing himself holding the print, the youngster tosses the camera back into the ocean, where it makes its way to its next recipient. This wordless books vivid watercolor paintings have a crisp realism that anchors the elements of fantasy. Shifting perspectives, from close-ups to landscape views, and a layout incorporating broad spreads and boxed sequences, add drama and motion to the storytelling and echo the photographic theme. Filled with inventive details and delightful twists, each snapshot is a tale waiting to be told. Pair this visual adventure with Wiesners other works, Chris Van Allsburgs titles, or Barbara Lehmans The Red Book (Houghton, 2004) for a mind-bending journey of imagination.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
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The book arrived on time to be given as a gift and was a good enough size to show the detail in the vivid pictures that tell an amazing story!Published 10 days ago by Lindsay King
Would be great for older kids who love to "tell" the story based on the pictures. Love David Wiesner's work!Published 11 days ago by B. Russell
I purchased this for younger children since I love books without words. The children understood some of what they saw, but when the child in the book finds an old camera and starts... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Cammieneko
One of the best picture books on the market. Very creative, imaginative, fun.Published 2 months ago by nabuna
Flotsam is a very short wordless picture book full of wondrous images and a great storyline. I love wordless picture books, they are more demanding on the artist, as the images... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ama Su Nilia
Such a super way to start thinking about the summer and the beach--opens up lots of ideas and creativity--especially for writingPublished 3 months ago by lgrinaman
Terrific book for children. Can't wait to give it to my grandchildren. Would recommend to all readers who love to explore with their little ones.Published 3 months ago by dberg
Flotsam incites the imagination of its readers by inviting them along on an oneiric journey of discovery. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jasmine Araujo