This will be a week filled with reviews of illustrated books and comic books. Putting it that way makes it sound like I’ll dump loads of reviews on here this week, but it’ll be just 3 of them. For me, that’s a lot since I usually manage to churn out only a few reviews every couple weeks. I like to pair up my reviews of illustrated books and comics, but I only read one illustrated book. So here is its lonesome review.
Flotsam by David Wiesner (illus.)
A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam — anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share … and to keep.
Flotsam is a wonderful children’s picture book with quite an imaginative story that’s told without words. I think I’m leaning toward such books. The absence of words draws my attention to other details and makes me focus on other ways we communicate.
I think this is a great book for parents to read with kids. The story is filled with large, colorful, detailed illustrations that tempt readers to form their own dialogues and stories for them — well, it tempted me to do so. Though the story isn’t a favorite, I appreciate its fantastical nature, which teases the mind, and the touch of humor in the illustrations, which is seen in how expressive certain creatures are. I also like the diversity in characters and that just about any kid can look through the book and imagine themselves as being one of the lucky ones to find a random camera at the beach filled with such marvelous photographs.
The illustrations are decent. It’s not my favorite style, but I like how detailed they are, especially when portraying underwater scenes. However, what I love about the illustrations are the colors.
I love the smooth texture of it, so smooth that you don’t see the brushstrokes, and how seamlessly colors blend in and out of each other. I think the beach scenes are my favorite because of how vibrant the colors are there. They made me feel as if I was at the beach, though I read the book on a blustery, overcast day in March.
I wish publishers would mention in illustrated books what art medium was used to create the artwork. From the tone of the colors in this, I assume Wiesner used watercolor, though I have been fooled by acrylic before, so it could be that.
I wasn’t blown away by it, but I would recommend it to parents for bedtime reading with their kids.