I recently sat down with my daughters and “read” some of David Wiesner’s books to them.
I put “read” in quotes because most of these books have little or no words.
But the pictures… well, the illustrations are breathtaking.
I was a little nervous when I first saw them. I was afraid maybe the illustrations were too intricate to hold a preschooler’s and a toddler’s attention.
I was wrong.
My 4-year-old would ask me to tell her the story, and then we’d flip through the book again and she’d tell me the story. My 2-year-old would point out all the little details as we read. They both requested the books over and over.
I’d borrowed as many as I could find from the local library, because I didn’t know yet if they were worth the investment to purchase them. But now I know my girls love them.
I narrowed down my daughters’ favorites to two: Flotsam and Sector 7.
Flotsam is a tale of a young boy who discovers an old camera while exploring the shore.
He digs it out of the sand and develops the film.
What he finds in the photos is, quite simply, amazing.
There are sea turtles with tiny cities growing on their shells. Sea horses watching tiny aliens play. And so very much more.
I enjoy this book at least as much, if not more, than my girls.
Here are some images from Flotsam:
Sector 7 is the story of a young boy visiting the Empire State Building on a school field trip.
While on the observation deck, he meets a curious character: a mischievous cloud.
They become fast friends and the cloud takes the boy to on a trip up into the sky. They visit Sector 7, the Cloud Dispatch Center, where clouds receive their instructions about how they should be shaped and where they are to go.
The boy happens to be an artist, and the clouds happen to love his sketches. The clouds decide to replicate these sketches, and mayhem ensues.
Here are some images from Sector 7:
While those two are our favorites, Wiesner has some other gems as well. Similar books include:
On Tuesday, strange things happen. This Tuesday, lilypad-riding frogs take to the skies, exploring the town by air.
In Free Fall, a young boy falls asleep with a book in his arms and visits magical, far-away lands and the knights, castles, and dragons within.
In Hurricane, two young brothers see a tree fall to the earth during a storm. It becomes their playground, representing everything from a pirate ship to an exotic jungle.
In June, 29, 1999, a young girl’s science project of vegetable seeds is launched into the atmosphere, has an extraterrestrial encounter, and we find out what happens when lima beans loom over Levittown and artichokes advance on Anchorage.