Nicole's Reviews > Tuesday

Tuesday by David Wiesner
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Sep 20, 11

Read in September, 2011

Tuesday by David Weisner is a humorous and creative “almost” wordless picturebook that is filled with imagination, and vivid imagery. The story of what could happen on a Tuesday night in a small town when frogs discover that they can fly on lily pads is amusing and ingenious. Wiesner sets the space in time, but leaves the rest of the story for interpretation by individual readers. Unlike other postmodern wordless picturebooks, Tuesday has a strong and satisfying plot. Weisner is a master storyteller and the reader can easily follow the narrative and enter this surreal world where frogs and perhaps pigs can fly.

The mostly blue and green hued watercolor illustrations are carefully detailed. For instance, the expressions of the frogs are hilarious as they experience flying among the birds, or peek in at the man having a late evening snack, and frown as they sit on their non-flying lily pads after a night of frolicking. The unusual visuals are set against a realistic background—familiar looking homes, a kitchen, an old woman’s family room, an ordinary neighborhood—and this allows the reader to take what Weisner calls “a leap of faith” and truly engage with the story. He pays homage to the 1960’s detective films with the double page spread of the morning after—Wednesday. And he dabbles in surrealism throughout the pages of Tuesday. In fact, Weisner states on his website that he “was intrigued by the surrealists—Margritte, de Chirico, Dali—who depicted the dream world with an unsettling precision”. He has accomplished just that with his award winning picturebook.

The author and illustrator also incorporated framing and perspective in unique and striking ways. For example, the panels used throughout the text allow the reader a unique view of what these crazy frogs are up to. The alternating perspectives are dramatic and immediately capture the reader’s attention. It is easy to see why this book was awarded a Caldecott Medal. It will forever have a place on my bookshelf and my list of must-reads with students.
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