cover image Free Fall

Free Fall

David Wiesner, Author HarperCollins Publishers $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-688-05583-7

Wiesner creates a wonderful dream sequence in a wordless exploration that makes the picture book format seem limitless. Gray-and-green gingham squares of a sleeping boy's coverlet flow into the patchwork fields of a landscape, with mountains in the blue-green distance. Onto this checked ground, figures like chess pieces appear, pages turn to castles and turrets with knights and moatsstill using the shapes and colors of the first bedroom scene. The dreaming boy, clad in his pajamas, visits castles and slays a mottled green dragon. Next he sprawls like Gulliver among the Lilliputians, and then journeys into an urban dreamland: tenements instead of castles, rooftops with aerials instead of parapets. A last ride up on a swan's back, over a green-checked seascape of waves and shadows brings him ashore, and back to his bed. This unbroken dreamscape is artfully carried through a blending of ancient and modern motifs; the book is an exceptional choice for children and visually enticing for older readers as well. Ages 6-10. (April)