Tuesday ; The Three Pigs ) crafts another wordless mystery, this one set on an ordinary beac"/>

Flotsam

David Wiesner, Author, David Wiesner, Illustrator . Clarion $17 (40p) ISBN 978-0-618-19457-5

Two-time Caldecott winner Wiesner (Tuesday ; The Three Pigs ) crafts another wordless mystery, this one set on an ordinary beach and under an enchanted sea. A saucerlike fish's eye stares from the exact center of the dust jacket, and the fish's scarlet skin provides a knockout background color. First-timers might not notice what's reflected in its eye, but return visitors will: it's a boxy camera, drifting underwater with a school of slim green fish. In the opening panels, Wiesner pictures another close-up eye, this one belonging to a blond boy viewing a crab through a magnifying glass. Visual devices—binoculars and a microscope in a plastic bag—rest on a nearby beach towel, suggesting the boy's optical curiosity. After being tossed by a wave, the studious boy finds a barnacle-covered apparatus on the sand (evocatively labeled the "Melville Underwater Camera"). He removes its roll of film and, when he gets the results, readers see another close-up of his wide-open, astonished eye: the photos depict bizarre undersea scenes (nautilus shells with cutout windows, walking starfish-islands, octopi in their living room à la Tuesday 's frogs). A lesser fantasist would end the story here, but Wiesner provides a further surprise that connects the curious boy with others like him. Masterfully altering the pace with panel sequences and full-bleed spreads, he fills every inch of the pages with intricate, imaginative watercolor details. New details swim into focus with every rereading of this immensely satisfying excursion. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/24/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
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FORMATS
Open Ebook - 40 pages - 978-0-547-75930-2
Hardcover - 39 pages - 978-1-4287-0206-6
Hardcover - 978-4-7764-0238-1
Hardcover - 978-957-745-990-9
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