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Free Fall Hardcover – April, 1900

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; 1st edition (April 1900)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688055834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688055837
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 11.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,897,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A boy falls asleep and experiences several wordless, surreal journeys. PW said, "This unbroken dreamscape is artfully carried through a blending of ancient and modern motifs; the book is an exceptional choice for children and visually enticing for older readers." Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5 In an odd wordless picture book about a dream, a fair-haired boy falls asleep while reading an ominous looking atlas. As he floats through sky and slumber, the boy's green checked bedspread is transformed into an aerial view of the earth. He then descends upon an enormous chess board complete with mortal playing pieces. This medieval welcoming party leads the youngster to their mazed castle where he continues his search (although this is not always clear) for an elusive map. The nameless protagonist's ensuing adventures are confusing, complicated, and illogical. Transformations abound in this surrealistic universe. Floating leaves change into swans, fortress walls become dragons, building fronts turn into mountains. The influence of such literary classics as Gulliver's Travels, The Wizard of Oz, and The Water-Babies, along with the artistry of Raphael, Escher, and Sendak, is apparent. Soft shades of green, blue, and yellow dominate the action. Technical virtuosity is the trademark of the double-page watercolor spreads. Especially notable is the solidity of forms and architectural details. While many of the illustrations are stunning, if somewhat slick, they work better as individual pieces than as a whole. This book lacks the sequence and logic required by young children, and it will have limited appeal among older children. Julie Corsaro, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

David Wiesner is one of the best-loved and most highly acclaimed picture book creators in the world. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have won numerous awards in the United States and abroad. Three of the picture books he both wrote and illustrated became instant classics when they won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday in 1992, The Three Pigs in 2002, and Flotsam in 2007, making him only the second person in the award's long history to have won three times. He has also received two Caldecott Honors, for Free Fall and Sector 7.

Wiesner grew up in suburban New Jersey, known to his classmates as "the kid who could draw." He went on to become a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he was able to commit himself to the full-time study of art and to explore further his passion for visual storytelling. He soon discovered that picture books were the perfect vehicle for his work.

Wiesner generally spends several years creating each new book. Many versions are sketched and revised until the story line flows smoothly and each image works the way he wants it to. He creates three-dimensional models of objects he can't observe in real life, such as flying pigs and lizards standing upright, to add authenticity to his drawings.

David Wiesner lives with his family outside Philadelphia.

Customer Reviews

A great story with beautiful art work.
Most people I share the books with have never seen them before and want to look at them just by the covers.
T. Poole
I do recommend it highly to any home or classroom.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Amber Branton on April 25, 2001
Format: Library Binding
Free Fall By: David Wiesner David Wiesner sends the reader on a magical journey through a young boy's dream to a far off land in his creative picture book titled, Free Fall. He does this by using only detailed pictures. Free Fall is an Caldecott honor award winning book for its excellent use of the imagination. Free Fall begins with a young boy fast asleep with a storybook lying open on his chest. The boy begins to dream while the pages of the book start to fly and take life. He becomes a character in the book as the chess pieces begin to talk with him. He then goes through many exciting adventures during the course of the book. He protects the town from a frightening dragon, becomes an oversized boy towering above all, and even becomes so small that he can fly on a single leaf. He flies right next to the swans just above the waters, and then he...wakes to the daylight shining through his window. He sits up, looks at his fish bowl beside his bed, and admires the seagulls at his windowpane with a smile on his face. David Wiesner uses fantasy and adventure to give a child an unlimited imagination in his book, Free Fall. The title page automatically sets the reader up for a fulfilled magical ride. The title page looks like a map made out of the boy's bed sheet to give the reader a sense of where the story will take us. The first page of the book lets the reader know that the boy fell asleep while reading a book. Then the reader turns the page, and night suddenly turns into day from one page to the next. The boy's room starts to disappear into rolling open fields with mountains towering in the background through clouds. The boy becomes as small as a chess piece, and starts to have conversations with the other pieces.Read more ›
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By on February 17, 2000
Format: Library Binding
"Free Fall" by David Wiesner is a wordless book about imagination. It begins with a boy who is escorted through a very imaginative dream. Throughout the book, the illustrations change subtly to form new scenarios as the dream continues. Eventually, the boy wakes up only to realize that a map and his own toys are the items that initiated his dream. "Free Fall" is a wonderfully illustrated book. It contains very clear illustrations with quite a bit of detail. Because the theme focuses on imagination, many of the illustrations are out of the ordinary and are abstract. However, the same concept is persistent throughout the book providing continuity for the reader. "Free Fall" will provide children of different ages the opportunity to explore their own imagination. It will also give children the opportunity to develop their vocabulary as they describe what each page means to them. However, some younger children might not be able to understand the complete meaning contained within the book. Furthermore, they might not have the vocabulary to describe all that they see. In spite of this, most children will truly enjoy this book. I do recommend it highly to any home or classroom.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joe Lombardo on December 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Free Fall is a series of wonderful illustrations of apparently unrelated imaginary worlds seamlessly stitched together by familiar textures. As with other books by David Wiesner, the closer you look the more you will appreciate his work.
Warning: This is not a traditional story. Young children probably will need your help to follow along.
If you appreciate creativity, imagination and quality illustration and want to pass this on to your children this book is a must have.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1996
Format: Paperback
This Caldecott Honor winner captivates young children with its entrancing illustrations of a boy's journey through a fantasy dreamland. Since there is no text, children (and adults) are free to make up the story to fit the illustrations in any way they see fit. Another wonderful wordless book by Wiesner is Tuesday
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By deegee02472 on November 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found this book in a pretty unexpected way. At work, I as putting together a team of people to take on a new problem. None of the members knew each other well and they all knew me even less.

I had read once about an ice breaker activity where each person is given a page of a picture book that they can't show to anyone. The objective is for each participant to talk one-on-one about the page they have, figure out what the pictures are supposed to convey and what order they go in.

That started me searching the world of wordless picture books. Once I found this book, I knew I had something great.

It doesn't feel like a standard children's story. As others have described, the book begins with a boy falling asleep reading an atlas. As you drift across the pages, you fall into the boy's dreamscape transitioning from one adventurous world after another. As you explore each page, you lose yourself in the gorgeous scenery and are captured by the detail the illustrator poured into in this boy's dream.

Adults will love it. My boy, age 7, enjoyed it. This was definitely different from anything else we've read together. We talked about everything that we saw and what was happening.

This was a very different experience from the straight-forward bedtime story. He read it a few times by himself and it was great that he was able to read something with so much wonderful detail. If you find yourself reciting your bedtime stories to your kids while your mind drifts off to making your grocery list this is a great change.

I've since picked up "Sector 7" and "Tuesday" which are also beautifully illustrated but "Freefall" can't be beat for capturing your imagination and taking you on a wonderful ride.

By the way, the ice breaker worked out pretty well too. What a nice way to turn adults back into kids again for a few hours.
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