I like to follow my contemporaries in the children’s book world, and so last week I picked up 3 titles of picture book creator David Wiesner. Mr. Wiesner has won 2 Caldecott Honors and 3 Caldecott Medals, making him only the second person in the award’s history to do so.
ART & MAX
Art & Max is the most recent of Wiesner’s books. The story focuses on two desert lizards enjoying a day of outdoor painting. Art is the wiser, more experienced painter, while Max is a rambunctious trouble-maker who naively picks up a brush with nearly disastrous results.
The story is fun and colorful. Wiesner clearly enjoyed indulging in his artistic abilities, making use of watercolors, pastels, and pencils. I also liked the small bio at the end of the book, which featured a picture of Wiesner painting at the age of 11.
Tuesday came out in 1991 and won Wiesner a Caldecott Medal. The picture book follows the journey of frogs floating on lily-pads through their neighborhood, on a late Tuesday evening. Strange concept, good pictures.
(My favorite image from the book). This one was good, and I liked the twist at the end, but my favorite one was -
Flotsam (2006) is a wildly imaginative book about a regular lad who finds an old waterproof camera washed up on the beach. He takes the camera in to get the film developed, and discovers pictures that reveal unknown secrets of the underwater world.
Flotsam was by far my favorite of the 3 books. It was the least predictable, and as the story went on, it was a delight to turn each page. It’s a juicy morsel of a story that lingers long after you close the book, and that, in my opinion, is evidence of a great story.
Ever wonder about the structure of children’s books? No? Well, I do! And here’s the answer to Why 36 Pages?
And now, I leave you with this picture of flowers. You’re welcome.
Til next time.