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Tuesday (Caldecott Medal Book) Hardcover – April 22, 1991

180 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

"Tuesday evening, around eight"--a deceptively mundane beginning for what proves to be a thrilling, miraculous, and surreal amphibian journey. Slowly and quietly on this particular Tuesday, a few fat frogs begin hovering over a swamp, riding lily pads like magic carpets. Clearly satisfied and comfortable, the floating frogs are as serene as little green buddhas. Gradually, the flying fleet grows in momentum and number, sailing over the countryside and into an unsuspecting town. These frogs know how to have fun--startling the occasional bird, waving webbed feet at late-night snack-eaters, and even changing the channels on a sleeping granny's television. As day breaks, the frogs lose their lily pads, head back to the pond, and wait impatiently for their next scheduled departure.

Tuesday won the 1992 Caldecott Medal and, among other honors, was named as an ALA Notable Children's Book. The critical acclaim will come as no surprise to anyone who opens the pages of this beautiful and humorous book. With hardly any words (except those noting the time), David Wiesner creates a wondrous romp as silent as the middle of the night. Using the rich purples, blues, and greens of late evening, Wiesner draws readers into the warm, incandescent world of frog flight. "Read" this wordless wonder to children and savor it for yourself as well. Chances are, you and the youngsters will both find yourselves poised at the window, hoping to catch a few airborne frogs in the act. (Ages 4 and older)

From Publishers Weekly

In this nearly wordless picture book, Wiesner ( Hurricane ; Free Fall ) again takes readers on an imaginative voyage, using everyday reality merely as a touchstone. Here, a squadron of frogs soars through the night air one Tuesday, squatting upon lilypads that they use as flying carpets. Apparently intending no harm, these mysterious visitors to a suburban development leave a minimum of disruption as evidence of their eerie flight: a few startled eyewitnesses, some scattered lilypads and a spooked dog. Wiesner's visuals are stunning: slightly surrealistic, imbued with mood and mystery, and executed with a seemingly flawless command of palette and perspective. But, perhaps because this fantasy never coalesces around a human figure, it is less accessible and less resonant than his tales that center on a child protagonist. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Caldecott Medal Book
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; Library Binding edition (April 22, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395551137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395551134
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
We've all heard the stories of the skies, for whatever reason, raining frogs on innocent town travelers. This natural occurrence of the wild is one of the great weirdnesses of life. So how much odder is it, really, to consider frogs flying? They have all the self-possession required of such a task. Frogs are a uniquely calm species. Confident even. In Dave Wiesner's essentially wordless book "Tuesday", amphibian folk are given the unexplained power of floatation. In his tale, Wiesner considers what exactly frogs would do with the gift of flying if it was granted them.
One of the best pictures in this book is on one of the first pages. There, a turtle cowers into its shell as black eyed pupil-less frogs rise on their lily pads out of the water. The frogs descend, so to speak, on a nearby suburb, and proceed to wreak some minor havok. They disturb a man pausing to eat a late night sandwich. They disturb laundry and enter old ladies' homes to watch a little telly. And they take a great amount of pleasure in scaring a dog that would undoubtedly eat them if it had the chance. As the book ends, the frogs are relieved of their otherworldly powers and hop back to the swamps, leaving only their lily pads behind them. The next Tuesday, at the same time, we're given a hint of how a more porcine animal will handle flight.
Wiesner is a genius at the visual gag. His illustrations are simple watercolors, well-detailed and in-depth. Wiesner knows when to give an animal human expressions and when to leave it looking particularly froggy. He gets every single one of those frogs' spots down , and can manipulate his illustrations in such a way that you never doubt for a moment the ridiculous things you're seeing. To top it all off, the man's a master at conveying light.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jay on May 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the inside of the cover, Wiesner claims these events actually happened one Tuesday and... "all those in doubt are reminded that there is always another Tuesday." Beginning at 8:00pm, we see a three-part picture of a pond that changes perspective to focus on an alarmed turtle. Frogs on lilypads have taken flight and begin to chase after birds, intimidate a dog and confuse a man eating midnight snack. As morning approaches, the frogs return to their pond, leaving their lilypads and the curious detectives behind. The story ends with the words, "next Tuesday" and the shadow of a flying pig.
I've used this book in primary classrooms. It is a very cute story with only a few words. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for children to tell or write their own words. This enables students who cannot read yet to engage in a literate activity.
Why 5 stars?:
This book tells a cute fantasy story with very few words. It lends itself to having children make up their own text, which will support their emerging literacy skills. The illustrations are incredibly lifelike and it is no wonder it won a Caldecott.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Reginald D. Garrard VINE VOICE on July 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I discovered this classic over a decade ago when working on my Master's. One of my required classes was a course in children's literature and it turned out to be my favorite. Having long been an avid reader, I was reintroduced to forgotten pleasures and presented with new (at that time) works that were totally fascinating.
"Tuesday" is in the latter category. It is short on prose but makes up for it with engrossing illustrations. The minimum of words allows the "reader" to create a different script with each visit.
My three-year-old niece "eats" the book up every time that either her mom, her grandfather, or even her dotting uncle takes a shine to pull it off the shelf and share it with her. Our respective interpretations of the pictures are limitless, making this a book that will live long after others have faded into obscurity.
Even the book's end allows the child to ponder the events of "Wednesday" and even hypothesize about the events of subsequent days.
Any book that plays on a child's natural tendency to dream is a winner.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia on May 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Leaping lizards! No, it's flying frogs! One evening frogs begin to fly and experience the nighttime from a different perspective. Caught up in the adventure, the frogs startle people and chase animals until their power to fly disappears in the morning.
Wiesner's extraordinary illustrations tell a story which words could not do justice. He develops the tale of the frogs in detail through pictures.
Upon reading Tuesday, it will likely become one of your favorite books, whether you are a child or an adult.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
David Wiesner's, almost wordless, book, "Tuesday," gives the reader a vivid story about a group of frogs who take their lily pads for a ride. Their lily pads fly through the air and through the neighborhood. The frogs' adventure ends when the sun begins to rise. However, the next Tuesday, another animal gets to take a similar adventure.

In the book, "Tuesday," David Wiesner uses watercolor on Arches paper for the illustrations. The illustrator uses dark colors to represent the time of night in this story. The dark colors also give the viewer a sense of mystery as they flip through the pages. However, the illustrator also uses light colors to represent the light from a house, the glow from a television set or the time of day. David Wiesner uses line to show the action of the frogs, by guiding the viewers' eye through the frogs' adventure on their lily pads. Wiesner's choice to make the frogs in the book, "Tuesday," makes the frogs seem friendly and happy.
My favorite aspect of the illustration was that color. The light and dark differences found throughout the book made the story seem very real, even though the plot is very, "magical." The use of blues and grays make the frogs flying through the air seem mysterious. While the fluorescent lights of the kitchen give a very drastic change to the frogs flying in the night outside. I also think that it was very cute for the frog to be waving at the man in the kitchen. I think that is a minor detail that a child will most likely pick up on and appreciate.
The lighting of the television room was another favorite for me. I like how the artist let the glow of the television shadow the frogs and the old woman.
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