FLOTSAM by David Wiesner
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 11
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From arguably the most inventive and cerebral visual storyteller in children’s literature, comes a wordless invitation to drift with the tide, with the story, with your eyes, with your imagination. A boy at the beach picks up a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera. He develops the film, which produces, first, pictures of a surreal undersea world filled with extraordinary details (i.e., giant starfish bestride the sea carrying mountainous islands on their backs), and then a portrait of a girl holding a picture of a boy holding a picture of another boy . . . and so on . . . and on. Finally, the boy needs a microscope to reveal portraits of children going back in time to a sepia portrait of a turn-of-the-century lad in knickers. The boy adds his own self-portrait to the others, casts the camera back into the waves, and it is carried by a sea creature back to its fantastic depths to be returned as flotsam for another child to find. In Wiesner’s much-honored style, the paintings are cinematic, coolly restrained and deliberate, beguiling in their sibylline images and limned with symbolic allusions. An invitation not to be resisted. (Picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-19457-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2006


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