L12_sarah's Reviews > Flotsam

Flotsam by David Wiesner
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Jan 28, 12

bookshelves: picture-books
Read in January, 2012

Flotsam is another fun and imaginative wordless picture book from author David Wiesner. In the story, a young boy is at the beach with his parents. He is inquisitive (as evident by the microscope he brought with him to the beach!) and is in the middle of investigating a small crab along the water's edge when a large wave sends him and the crab crashing onto the shore, along with a mysterious underwater camera covered in seaweed. When the boy develops the film inside, he discovers a series of crazy photos taken under the sea, some of which suggest that he is not the first human to have found the camera.

Similar to Wiesner's picture book Tuesday , this Caldecott Award-winning book contains no words, which means the pictures have to tell it all...and they do! Children will love taking in all the details in each picture and constructing the story themselves. This book is an excellent resource for teaching visual literacy, storytelling and making inferences. Although the book is pegged as an Easy Reader book for young children, it could also be used with older students (up to grade 9) as an introduction/review of how to make inferences. Flotsam would also work particularly well in an elementary classroom where students are studying underwater life, as the illustrations contain all manner of sea creatures that students could try their hand at naming. Because of its use of picture boxes on some pages, this book would also be a good introduction to graphic novels. Regardless of how it is used, Flotsam is likely to grab the attention of even reluctant readers!

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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L12aliciacarrera Sarah, I thought of reading this book, now I wish I would have. I'm always on the look out for books with great illustrations for my ESL students. It's true what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Picture books are so much fun for younger readers. They let their imaginations run wild! I find I have fun listening to them come up with different scenarios.


L12_sarah I hadn't thought of the ESL connection, but you're right, Alicia--your kids would really love it! I highly recommend you check it out!


Ruth I will be doing a special presentation on wordless picture books and ELL students with the 3sh students on week 6--you are welcome to stay after with us that evening if this is an area of interest.


L12_tomj I agree with your assessment that not only is David Weisner's picture book just a fun read, but it has all manner of implications for the classroom. Whether your an art teacher, ELL, Science, or Language Arts teacher, "Flotsam" because of its pictorial only nature lends itself to a range of classroom uses. Your review gives all teachers some very practical and simple ways to use this book for academic purposes. "Flotsam" was a really enjoyable read, and your review catches on to the incipient idea lying underneath just the surface of this story; like the boy who discovers an unfathomed world of creatures and objects underwater, there are many academic facets to explore with the turn of every page.


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