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Sector 7 (Caldecott Honor Book) Hardcover – September 20, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In another wondrous, wordless picture book by Caldecott Medal winner David Wiesner (Tuesday and June 29, 1999), a class visiting the Empire State Building finds complete cloud cover and no visibility. One boy makes friends with a cloud (identifiable in the mists by the red mittens, hat, and scarf and swipes from the boy), and goes AWOL on a wonderful adventure. The cloud whisks him away to the "Sector 7" floating cloud factory, a bizarre sky station that looks like a Victorian design for a submarine.

Hiding behind his new cumulonimbus friend, the boy enters an area resembling Grand Central Station (complete with "Arrivals" and "Departures" boards) and watches officious human types in uniform giving the clouds their weather assignments. When the clouds complain to the boy that their assigned shapes are boring, he, a talented artist, creates new blueprints for them. The stuffy grownups are furious when clouds start emerging in the shape of fantastic fish; they shout at the clouds, tear up the new designs, and escort the boy back to his school group. But the revolt of the clouds is unstoppable now, and in the last few pages the skies over Manhattan suddenly get a lot more interesting. (Click to see a sample spread. Copyright 1999 by David Wiesner. With permission of Clarion Books.) (Ages 2 to 8) --Richard Farr

From Publishers Weekly

Caldecott Medalist Wiesner (Tuesday) again takes to the air, with watercolors that render words superfluous. Here, a boy on a class trip to the Empire State Building discovers that the landmark, enveloped by fog, is nonetheless a gateway to incredible vistas indeed. The boy is soon befriended by a jolly cloud that whisks him off to a sort of Grand Central in the sky, which functions as headquarters for clouds in the metro areaASector 7. Giant tubes funnel the clouds in and out of a designated waiting area; boards overhead track arrivals and departures (e.g., "Altocumulus" Dep. 1:03, Tube 21W). Uniformed bureaucrats keep their eyes on the skies in various locations (Hoboken, Brooklyn, Manhattan, etc.) by means of TV-type monitors, and issue each departing cloud an architectural-type drawing with precisely delineated shapes and measurements to which it must conform. The complex is rendered with the hard edges and clear definition of ultra-realism, a style that serves as an effective foil for both the wispy clouds and the story's fantastical premise. Magnificent as the "Cloud Dispatch Center" is, it is only the beginning. For the boy, having discerned the clouds' dissatisfaction with their pedestrian assignments, alters the drawings and specs so that the clouds begin to transform into blowfish, angel fish and octopus shapes. Even after the unamused bureaucrats discover his creations and summarily return him by cloud taxi to his classmates, the boy's influence persists: an elaborate tropical-sea-in-the-sky astonishes his friends (and strangers on the street), draws fish to the surface of the river, and has the city's indoors cats pawing at their windowpanes in excitement. Starting from a simple, almost obvious ideaAonce one has thought of itAWiesner offers up an ingenious world of nearly unlimited possibilities. His paintings, at once highly playful and purely pristine, contain such a wealth of details that they reveal new discoveries even after repeated examinations. The frame-within-a-frame that depicts the boy's first glimpse of the Sector 7 complex, for instance, is a mesmerizing study of the variegated colors and textures of clouds. The work as a whole is an inspired embodiment of what seems to be this artist's approach to story and vision: the more you look, the more there is to see. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Caldecott Honor Book
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; 1st edition (September 20, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395746566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395746561
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.4 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is yet another great book by author/illustrator David Wiesner. This is a story about a boy who goes on a field trip to the Empire State Building. As a result of complete cloud cover the boy makes friends with a unique character, a cloud. The cloud takes the boy to "Sector 7" where all clouds are made by boring, uninspired beings. The boys spices things up by creating factastic shapes for the clouds. The boy is kicked out of Sector 7 by those beings who do not appreciate his artistic ability. After the boy is gone the clouds revolt and what follows is a delight for the eyes! This almost wordless picture book stretches the imagination and keeps you guessing page after page about what you will see next.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wildly inventive and complex story, well served by Wiesner's artistic skill and coherence. From the textured, "cloudy" endpapers, through the carefully framed drawings celebrating the design of the Empire State Building, to the glorious burst of unframed beauty in the clouds, every detail carries part of this exciting adventure. (It is my own belief, by the way, that the clouds, having seen the boy's drawings on the bus window, come get him , in particular, to draw new designs for them. His visit to Sector 7 is no accident!) The repeated and varied use of frames, the intense architectural sensibility, and the freshness of the boy's bright red cap, scarf and gloves pull the reader into the story at a dizzying pace that feels like flying. Feel free to share it with children if you're in a generous frame of mind -- but keep it for yourself!
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Format: Hardcover
David Wiesner is best described as a light-hearted Chris Van Allsburg. In his books there tends to be a very real and deep fascination with both the sky and breaking away from convention. For example, his book "Tuesday" examines the repercussions of frogs flying at night. "The Three Pigs", by contrast, takes a familiar story and loosens it up considerably. With "Sector 7", a wordless tale of a boy and his cloud, Wiesner tells a tale of changing the status quo. It's sometimes very difficult to find noteworthy wordless picture books out there but Wiesner appears to have an excellent grasp on this rarely appreciated genre.

When a boy goes on a school field trip to the Empire State Building, he little suspects what a thrilling adventure he's about to have. Initially, he's disappointed. At the top of the tower the world is engulfed in a thick fog. Yet out of this fog, an unlikely friend appears. A little cloud, nicking the boy's hat and scarf for fun, quickly befriends the awed child and invites him up up up into the sky. Riding on the cloud's back, the boy nears the processing station for Sector 7 (a sector that covers the general New York area with some space given to the Atlantic Ocean as well). Boy and cloud pass through Receiving and enter the Assignment Station. While there, they hear the complaints of other clouds. The assignments are fine, but they're so dull. Just the usual puffy fluffiness we see all the time in the sky. With a little imagination, the boy convinces the clouds to try out new forms. It seems they're particularly adept at the shapes of tropical fish. Of course, the people in charge of the Sector 7 plant aren't pleased with the clouds' new shapes.
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By A Customer on December 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
David Weisner is an absolute treasure. We bought Sector 7 and enjoyed "reading" this outstanding picture book. The artwork is beautiful, and incredibly rich. I've read it to my son several times and am still finding more details.
It's nice to discuss each picture with my son. I believe that we're developing some valuable communication skills.
We also enjoy Free Falling and June 29th 1999 from David Weisner. Don't let your children grow up without introducing them to these treasures!
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Format: Hardcover
I really loved this book as an adult, and what makes it even better is that my son is nuts about it as well.
Because there are no words, he can tell the story to me. I think books like this teach children to look at the details and to study facial expressions.
This book is Brilliant!
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By A Customer on June 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is an absolutely beautiful book, with a wonderful message about non-conformity and the power of imagination. The illustrations are wonderful, too. The whole book has a very dreamy, magical quality, but at the same time, also a very clear and interesting story line. I pick up new details in the characters' expressions every time I read it. I think I will be buying this book as a gift for children and adults for many years to come. I recently went away to visit relatives in a foreign country, and this book, with a magnificent story but no words (no need for words), was an excellent gift idea for the kids. I've taken out a few of Wiesner's other books from the library and so far, this is my favourite by far. I have already bought three copies to give as gifts. I never manage to keep one for myself, because I always find someone I want to give one to. Within a few years, I think everyone I know will have a copy! I highly recommend it.
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