Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 118: Flotsam

This book has caught my eye several times at the library before (perhaps because it looks like there is a big eye staring at me from the cover), but I always told myself I would save it for another visit.  Finally, the other week, we got around to checking this one out.  I'm so glad we did!   This has to be one of my favorite wordless picture books out there.  David Wiesner's illustrations are impeccably detailed, and I am amazed by the elaborate story they are able to tell in and of themselves.  Flotsam takes us on a fabulous journey through magical undersea worlds, imagination, and adventure as a young boy discovers an old, underwater camera washed up on the shore as he is playing on the beach one day.  After confirming that no one on the beach has lost it, he opens it up and finds a roll of film inside.  Curious about where this camera might have been, the boy takes the film to a one-hour photo shop to be developed, being sure to replace the film with a new roll while he is there.  Upon viewing the photos, he is fascinated by what he sees:  a magical underwater civilization where mechanical fish roam, sea turtles swim among seashell palaces, and giant starfish islands play.  The most curious image of all, however, shows a girl his age holding a photo of another child, who is holding a photo of another child, who is holding a photo of another child... and so on and so on, around the world and back in time.  Of course, in the end, the boy takes his own photo in a similar fashion and casts the camera back into the waves.  Unlike him, though, we are lucky enough to see where it travels before being discovered by another child in a land far away.  Flotsam is brilliantly creative and such fun to read to children of all ages.  What I love most about this book is the sense of wonder and imagination it instill in its readers, and the way it encourages anyone, child or parent, to be their own storyteller.   Each image is truly worth a thousand words in this book, and the endless details found within the story allow to it to be told and retold time and again.   Flotsam is also one of those rare books that is truly appropriate and enjoyable for a wide range of audiences.  As a middle school teacher, I can imagine my students loving this book just as much as my preschooler does.  I love the photo on the back jacket cover of Wiesner on the beach at age 5, too.  My son loves playing on the beach more than just about anything, and I'm sure we'll think of this book the next time we are playing in the waves and exploring our own undersea worlds. 


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