February 06, 2017

Module 3 Flotsam

Book Cover

APA Reference of Book:
Weisner, D. (2006). Flotsam. New York, NY: Clarion Books.

Book Summary:
Since this is a picture book the plot is determined by the readers. The front and end pages are beautifully illustrated to look like the beach or items found at a beach. A boy is at a beach and is exploring and finds a camera with film in it so he takes it to be developed. Strange things are in the pictures he found. At the end he takes a picture of himself and throws the camera back into the water.

The artwork is stunning and very realistic with bright colors to match the season and being at the beach. The story is wonderfully told through the pictures and including the wonder and surprise of of what the boys sees in the pictures. There are enough pictures to tell the story but there are enough gaps as well to develop your own spin on what exactly is going on and how the story ends. I will definitely have to keep this author on my to buy list!

Professional Review:
Two-time Caldecott winner Wiesner (Tuesday; The Three Pigs) crafts another wordless mystery, this one set on an ordinary beach and under an enchanted sea. A saucerlike fish's eye stares from the exact center of the dust jacket, and the fish's scarlet skin provides a knockout background color. First-timers might not notice what's reflected in its eye, but return visitors will: it's a boxy camera, drifting underwater with a school of slim green fish. In the opening panels, Wiesner pictures another close-up eye, this one belonging to a blond boy viewing a crab through a magnifying glass. Visual devices--binoculars and a microscope in a plastic bag--rest on a nearby beach towel, suggesting the boy's optical curiosity. After being tossed by a wave, the studious boy finds a barnacle-covered apparatus on the sand (evocatively labeled the "Melville Underwater Camera"). He removes its roll of film and, when he gets the results, readers see another close-up of his wide-open, astonished eye: the photos depict bizarre undersea scenes (nautilus shells with cutout windows, walking starfish-islands, octopi in their living room à la Tuesday's frogs). A lesser fantasist would end the story here, but Wiesner provides a further surprise that connects the curious boy with others like him. Masterfully altering the pace with panel sequences and full-bleed spreads, he fills every inch of the pages with intricate, imaginative watercolor details. New details swim into focus with every rereading of this immensely satisfying excursion. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)

Flotsam. (2006). Publishers Weekly, 253(29), 56-57

Library Uses: 
I would use this as a story telling example. I would give students a page and have them make up a story or even write it. You could also break up the pictures and have them decide what order they should go in for inference or sequencing.

My Rating: ****

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