Flotsam

Common Sense Media says

Underwater fantasy world revealed in magical watercolors.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 
Caldecott Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Educational value

Encourages kids to look carefully at the pictures and piece together what's going on.

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that David Wiesner's wordless, beautiful book with captivating illustrations won the 2007 Caldecott Medal. It tells the story of a boy who discovers an intricate underwater wonderland revealed in film from an underwater camera he finds on the shore. Kids of all ages will appreciate the story on its various levels.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

While a boy is digging for crabs, a wave sweeps him off his feet and deposits an underwater camera on the sand in front of him. After he recovers, he has the film developed and is captivated by what he finds. Ultimately, he tosses the camera back into the sea, where it's carried away by various creatures until it again washes ashore for a new child to find.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

With no text to interfere, this book's expressive, sensitively painted watercolors tell the story as words never could. And the magic of the boy's imaginative, somewhat surreal photos is intriguing and will amaze the reader.

David Wiesner is a talented, clever, prolific artist with a self-avowed passion for what he calls "wordless storytelling." He manages to pack his pages with details variously framed and set up like a comic book yet masterfully placed to create the rhythm of a classic tale. Of all Wiesner's books, Flotsam in particular reflects his fascination with what comes before and after a picture. It's simply captivating. There's so much to explore on each page.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the things the boy finds in the ocean and the adventures he has. What kinds of things does he see?

  • Have you had any adventures like the boy's at the beach?

  • Can you tell what's going on in each picture? Can you make up your own stories behind it?

Book details

Author:David Wiesner
Illustrator:David Wiesner
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Ocean creatures, Science and nature
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Clarion Books
Publication date:September 4, 2006
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Award:Caldecott Medal and Honors

This review of Flotsam was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 July 7, 2012
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

flotsam

Families can talk about the things the boy finds in the ocean and the adventures he has. What kinds of things does he see? Have you had any adventures like his at the beach? Can you tell what's going on in each picture? Can you make up your own stories behind it?
What other families should know
Educational value

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools