With two Caldecott Medals and two Caldecott Honors under his belt, it should come as no surprise that childrens book author David Wiesner’s “Flotsam” would quickly become a favorite among four to eight year olds. Without ever using a single word, Wiesner weaves a fantastical storyline that allows the reader to tell the story, using his images as the backdrop.
In the beautiful images of this picture book, the young and curious explorer who is the main character in “Flotsam” is on the beach when he happens upon an old underwater camera. To his delight, the camera is still intact and contains a roll of film which he quickly takes to be developed. What he finds in the photographs is nothing short of breathtaking – amazing, unusual and brightly colored. From the first page through to the last, “Flotsam” will encourage children to explore things visually and to think twice about the world around them.
One of the most ingenious twists in this great book is when our young explorer takes a photograph of himself after seeing all the others and returns the old reliable camera to the sea, ensuring that its wonders may b e found by someone else. This single act on its own could inspire wonderful conversations with your children about the possible meanings behind what they see as well as their own individual interpretations, and that is exactly the way illustrator David Wiesner intended it to be. The spark of creativity can often be born in small ways, such as spending time with a children’s treasure like this.