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Free Fall

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,634 ratings  ·  177 reviews
When he falls asleep with a book in his arms, a young boy dreams an amazing dream-about dragons, about castles, and about an unchartered, faraway land. And you can come along.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 18th 1991 by HarperCollins (first published September 1st 1991)
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The Arrival by Shaun TanTuesday by David WiesnerFlotsam by David WiesnerThe Snowman by Raymond BriggsGood Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
Wordless Picture Books
31st out of 157 books — 247 voters
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry PinkneyMadeline by Ludwig BemelmansWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakFlotsam by David WiesnerTuesday by David Wiesner
List for #nerdcott
50th out of 335 books — 36 voters

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Community Reviews

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u1124876 UEL
What a book! Free Fall is a picture book which tells the story of a boy who falls asleep after looking at an atlas and has the most in depth, mythical dream. Without one written word this book is fantastical and quite extraordinary. Snap shots from the book include the boy meeting chess pieces to him becoming a giant but with the most intriguing background scenes including mazes, forests and an oversized library.

I think this book could be used with upper KS1 children of all abilities in particu
L-Crystal Wlodek
This wordless picture book has won the Caldecott Honor in 1989 and is intended for children in third-fifth grade. This story is about a boy who falls asleep with an atlas in his arms. He then has a dream where his bedspread turns into an aerial view of the earth. On his journey, he plays chess on an enormous chess board complete with mortal playing pieces. This medieval welcoming party leads the boy to a castle with dragons where he continues his search for an elusive map.

This story is imaginat
This is a book with no words. The story is told through pictures. It start with a boy who fell asleep while reading. The book shows where his dreams take him while he is asleep.

My six year old was imersed in this. He looked through the book many times. The first time through he examined the pictures, which are beautiful and very imaginitive. He pointed thins out to me that he found interesting. His favorite was a scene where the boy is on a life sized chess board and it pieces are live me be of
Audra Sein
Free Fall is a whimsical wordless picture book illustrated by David Wiesner.

As I delved into this book, I noticed that the perspective was constantly being shifted. In some illustrations, the boy is depicted as being the same size as the people around him. In other illustrations, he is depicted as being much larger than the people around him. This shift in perspective contributes to the dream-like quality of the picture book. There is also a theme of things not being what they first appear. On
The book starts off with a young boy who has fallen asleep while reading a book. As he begins to doze off the book opens up to maps. While the boy is dreaming he falls on to certain places of the map, one place resembling a chess board. Another one looked like it was a castle. As he continues his dream he has picked up a sword and a shield as to protect himself from others. While dreaming he is being pulled into different directions. He even flies on what appears to be a leaf,but it is also a sw ...more
Amanda Catalina
This amazing wordless picture book portrays the world of the diverse yet connected thoughts of children's imagination. A young boy is seen asleep cradling a book at the beginning and his dreams take him through different worlds that lead oddly yet interestingly to each other. His journey is also led by a symbolic map floating through each world as if it is traveling based on what it depicts. Weisner does a great job of transitioning the illustrations to new adventures with each page. This story ...more
English 212
It does not even remotely surprise me that this book won a Caldecott honor. This book is the beginning of a love of reading! This book shows that you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone just by reading. In this case he falls asleep after reading a book and dreams of all these places, all the different people and animals and gets to be right in the middle of it. This book helps show the importance of reading and how wonderful it can be. On the first and last page when he first falls asleep an ...more
This wordless picture book has won the Caldecott Honor in 1989 and is intended for children in third-fifth grade. This story is about a boy who falls asleep with an atlas in his arms. He then has a dream where his bedspread turns into a view of the earth. On his journey, he plays chess on an enormous chess board complete with mortal playing pieces. This medieval welcoming party leads the boy to a castle with dragons where he continues his search for a map.

This story is imaginative, although a b
Aaron Siclovan
This book is written and illustrated by David Wiesner, who received a Caldecott Honor reward. The main character is a little boy who fell asleep in his bed while he was reading a book of long ago and far away stories. Because he just read the book, his dreams became many exciting adventures. In one adventure, he slew a scary dragon, and in another became much larger than the people of long ago. After having many exciting adventures, he climbed on a leaf which turned into a swan. Many leaves beca ...more
Samantha Friedman
I really enjoyed this book. I wish I would of read it first before reading the jacket flaps to see what my imagination would of came up with. The fact that the book started out as a nine foot long painting is very cool to me. I really liked his use of blues and greens, if was very calming to me, as if I was having a good dream too.
I also found that the illustration sequence was very interesting I liked how each page had a little "clue" that related to the next place he was dreaming of. Everyon
Free Fall by David Wiesner is a spectacular masterpiece of imagination, creativity, and cleverness. It is also, in fact, a book without words, a story entirely conveyed through pictures.

Wiesner starts off with a child and holds his audience as the boy travels through a realm of absurd happenings-- starting with a checkered bedspread that morphs into fields, which, in turn, converts to a real size chess game. Gradually scenery changes and escapades from sleepy dragons occur, as well as other adv
Theresa Womack
Free Fall by David Wisner is a children's picture book. When looking at the horizontal landscaped cover your eyes are drawn to the fact that a young boy appears to by flying over an ocean on a leaf. When inspecting the back cover you notice a bordered picture of a closes book with a dragon stuck in the pages. When opening to the half title page and the title page you see a map. This makes the reader start to think that this story might be about an adventure. When turning to the first page you no ...more
Lisa Vegan
I read his book Flotsam before I read this one. In fact, I read this one becaue of Flotsam. This one is really amazing as it contains no words at all; Flotsam has very few words and the pictures do tell the story in that book as well. I liked the story and beautiful paintings in Flotsam even more than I did in this earlier published book. But this one is another winner. Even pre-readers can “read” it by themselves. Fun and imaginative.
Free Fall was a very good wordless children’s book, written by David Wiesner, that showed the adventure a boy took once he fell fast asleep. This dream was filled with unbelievable mystical creatures and a land so mysterious and beautiful that you wouldn’t believe it until you saw it!

When I first had the intentions to read this book, I had no idea that it was wordless! Let me just say, it was a nice surprise. The illustrations were immaculate and painted such an incredible picture that is appeal
Oh wow! I came into this book not know that there were no words. But quite frankly no words are needed for this absolutely delightful journey. A boy falls asleep and his dreams flow seamlessly one after the other. I love how each picture gently transitions to the next scene. From his blanket turning into the country side to a chess board.

Obviously the illustrations are what make this book a wonder to behold. Sort of like when you watch Wizard of Oz every time you look at one of the illustration
Alexis White
While this book is wordless it also has a great plot. This story is about a boy who falls asleep with an atlas in his arms, obviously reading it. He then seems to have a dream where his bedspread turns into a top view of the earth. On his journey, he plays chess on one of the biggest chess board, that also is accompanied with mortal playing pieces. This medieval welcoming party leads the boy to a castle with dragons where he continues his search for a map.

Like many books this follows the plot o
Erick Escalera
This Wiesner wordless picture books involves a boy’s adventure in exciting new worlds. The boy has fallen asleep and falls into a dream. As the atlas he read lays next to him, his mind goes into a marvelous dream world where he can explore unique places and people. The dream led the young boy to be put into a large scale chess board. Next he landed in a medieval castle with knights surrounding. Each page contained a peculiar illustration of a new dream setting. As he wanders through dreams he e ...more
I'm putting this in the "mentioned in text" grouping, but that's a bit of a cheat. The textbook I'm using on children's literature loves Wiesner and mentions several of his books, but not this one (or Mr. Wuffles, of which another review is forthcoming). This may possibly be my favorite of all the Wiesner books I picked up today. A little boy falls asleep and has absolutely freaking amazing dreams: Alice in Wonderland, dragons, flying, you name it, this kid winds up dreaming it in the most fanta ...more
Reggie Overton
Another classic from the great artist/story teller David Wiesner. Just as the cover art suggest we are installed in a fantasy setting focusing on a boy and his dreams. What happens when he falls asleep holding the book that unlocks the doors of his dreams? How does it influence the surroundings he now has access to navigate through? Open this book and find out along with him as we are immersed in wonderful watercolor art and lively surroundings worthy of a Caldecott honor. This book projects and ...more
Thomas Anselin
This book is about a boy who falls asleep reading and is then taken into a world of fantasy. This book is horizontally oriented and relies on it to transition throughout the story. The picture with the castle and how everyone got really small I liked and it reminded me of the feeling far away in dreams that sometimes happens. Another note worthy thing in the book was the items from his room popping up in the story reminding us of familiar scene where things from our life are in our dreams. The t ...more
Leyla Shill
"Free Fall", by David Wiesner, was a really great and fun read. This book tells a very detailed story through very intricate pictures. I enjoyed taking my time when looking each of the illustrations. There are thin boarders on the pages throughout the book suggesting a thin separation between reality and a dream. The horizontal layout of the book also helps you get lost in the story as you travel through different destinations. What makes the book so interesting is that throughout the boy's trav ...more
Janaee Cobbs
"Free Fall" was written by David Wiesner. There is a orange-yellowish border on the outside on the cover page. There is a little boy sitting on the brown leaf looking like he is floating on a creek of water with the fishes jumping in and out of water on the cover page too. The orientation of the book is horizontal like it is rectangle framed. "Free Fall" is a wordless picture book about a little boy who fell asleep while reading a bedtime story so the dream became the imagination in the little b ...more
Sarah Finley
This wordless picture book by David Wiesner was about a young boy who falls asleep while reading and has the most vivid and imaginative dream. David Wiesner takes you on a journey throughout this book without using one word. Every single page has borders just on the top and bottom of the page and the illustrations are still large and you feel like you're apart of the boy's dream. I'm not personally a fan of wordless picture books but I do think that the illustrations were very detailed and even ...more
Alexis Espinosa
Free Fall is a wordless picture book about a boy who dreams up an adventure while he is sleeping. He flies, falls, defeats a dragon, and explores this place that he has made up. With this book the illustrations tell the entire story because there is no text. Each image has so much going on that the reader has the opportunity to use their imagination. This book is definitely for readers who have an imagination and it encourages imagination as well.

Comments/observations: I put this book under the
Another awesome wordless picture book from David Wiesner, this one won a 1989 Caldecott Honor award. In this book, a young boy is dreaming about far off places. A chess set comes alive and soon the boy is next to a peaceful dragon and some knights, queens and page boys. The boy becomes a giant, in a scene that looks like it was taken straight out of "Gulliver's Travels". My favorite image is of fallen leaves turning into swans and fishes. On the jacket flap is a poem, which I'm guessing the enti ...more
Free Fall by David Wiesner follows a boy’s dreams one night as he falls asleep reading a book of maps. As he falls asleep, the map from his book floats across the pages and over a countryside that turns into a life-size chessboard with some life-size chess pieces. These chess pieces take him to a kingdom that looks like over-sized chess pieces. Magically, the iron-clad knights armor crumbles to the ground, revealing doves that fly from the kingdom into a forbidden forest of sorts, containing a d ...more
:Donna Marie
FREE FALL Since the spring of 2013, due to the amazing book Flora and the Flamingo, I have finally become a fan of wordless picture books. It took a while, but this past week, I revisited books by David Weisner, a master at the wordless picture book. I'm glad I now took the time to allow myself to truly look at and think about the content of the pictures in the wordless PB form because I was missing out on this wonderful genre of children's books! Since then, I've become aware of many I love a ...more
Sep 25, 2013 Kelsey added it
Free Fall is a wordless picture book that is a Caldecott Honor book. The story opens with a picture of a boy sleeping in bed. He has a book laying open on his chest, suggesting he fell asleep while reading. As he dreams he explores imaginary worlds full of castles, dark forests, giant books, and geese large enough for a human to ride on. The last image shows the boy waking up and finding an assortment of strange things on his bedside table, leaving the reader to wonder, was it all just a dream?

Gloria Barbee
Free Fall by David Wiesner is a wordless picture book done is creative artwork. This beautifully done picturebook earned a Caldecott Honor in 1988. Its detailed watercolor illustrations tell the story of a young boy who drifts off to sleep after reading his story book. This illustrated dreamscape depicts the imaginative journey this boy takes as the characters in his book come to life as he slumbers.
Wiesner's double page spreads contain only white space on the top and the bottom of each page. Th
Megan Anderson
Many children fall asleep while reading. However, the young boy who fell asleep in Free Fall had an amazing adventure in his dream. He played human-sized chess, goes to a castle, and fights alongside dragons. The creatures and places in this story are very dramatic and exotic. David Wiesner put together this wordless picture book as though it were in a story tale format. The young boy travels through different stories making the reader feel as though it was a story within a story within a story. ...more
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During David Wiesner's formative years, the last images he saw before closing his eyes at night were the books, rockets, elephant heads, clocks, and magnifying glasses that decorated the wallpaper of his room. Perhaps it was this decor which awakened his creativity and gave it the dreamlike, imaginative quality so often found in his work.

As a child growing up in suburban New Jersey, Wiesner re-cre
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