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Flotsam Hardcover – September 4, 2006
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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
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From School Library Journal
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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Top Customer Reviews
I could barely stand to give it away and, simultaneously, I could barely wait for them to have it. The drawings are wonderful and the story is...magic. It's the only word I can use. I don't want to tell you a thing about it--just let it unfold, page by page.
That said, there are two things it might help you to know: 1) The kids and grown-ups who will love it most are those who have been to the beach and seen the ocean, even once. Not essential, but an enrichment. 2) Wordless or not, the story had to be read to the 3-year-old by his sister the first time, not vice versa. For an all-pictures book, it's more nuanced than you'd think.
Order a copy for every family you know.
And one for yourself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is no need to explain in words.
The every scene shows enough the readers what happened to the boy.Read more