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Flotsam by David Wiesner
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Sep 20, 11

Read in September, 2011

Flotsam by David Wiesner
1. Picture book—Wordless; teacher recommended
2. Flotsam is about a boy who discovers an underwater camera washed up from the shore. When he develops the pictures, he discovers an underwater world filled with villages as well as pictures of others who had discovered the camera in the past.
3. Critique:
a. Illustration
b. The illustrations are done in watercolor with a very realistic nature while the boy is on the beach. The book also contains comic-like blocks at times to illustrate time passing. This was resourceful as well as helpful in understanding a “longer” story in a shorter book. Once the boy develops the film, one discovers a fantasy underwater world. Some pictures are dark in nature while others are lighter. It helps to understand the animals that live deeper within the ocean as they were portrayed darker than the ones who live toward the surface of the ocean. When the boy discovers pictures of people who have used the camera in the past, colors versus black and white show newer pictures from older ones.
c. The watercolors are drawn in a realistic nature. For example, in the first spread where the boy is examining a shellfish, the Zip-eez bag holding his microscope looks realistic with the crinkles and shading of how the sun was hitting the bag.
When the boy is waiting for the film to develop, one can see through comic type blocks his boredom as he waits.
In the underwater world, the octopus family living in the deep ocean is darker in nature than the sea turtle with a village on his back.
4. I would use this book to teach young children the difference between reality and fiction.

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