Children’s Book Review: Flotsam (Caldecott Medal Winner 2007)


Weisner, David. Flotsam. Clarion Books, 2006. 40 pages.  ISBN-13: 978-0-618-19457-5


What’s the story?

A little boy playing on the beach discovers a camera that has washed ashore. He has the photographs developed and discovers that a strange world exists beneath the sea.


This Caldecott Medal winning wordless book features a collection of visually stunning illustrations that can captivate both a child and an adult’s imaginations. A boy playing on the beach follows a crab into the water and is caught up in a powerful wave. He then discovers that an underwater camera has washed ashore. The boy decides to take the film into a shop to be developed, and then his adventure begins as he views the wild assortment of photos. The photos depict normal sea life mixed in with some unusual creatures engaged in extraordinary behavior and activities as well. This wordless book can provoke a child’s imagination to invent a story of why an octopus is sitting in an armchair reading a book, and why there are a series of photos of children holding up pictures of other children from various periods of time. Most of the illustrations are in the bright colors that capture a sunny day at the beach. The underwater pictures are drawn in darker colors, yet the images are clearly and vividly depicted. A few illustrations in black and white add to the mysterious mood the book provides. This is a perfect book to spark a storytelling session.  Even the littlest of children can find an image within this book to make up a brief story.

 Other Awards

American Library Association Notable Books for Children 2007
Quill Awards 2007
Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year 2006
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books 2006
Red Clover Award 2008

Categories: Book Reviews, Children's Books | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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