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David Wiesner's FLOTSAM
written and illustrated by David Wiesner
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"My books need readers. The beauty of visual storytelling is how interactive my books become. When I create picture books, it isn't just my author's voice telling the story; each reader reads the book in his or her own way. And so there are limitless possibilities within each book—and the stories that emerge belong as much to the reader as they do to me." —David Wiesner

David Wiesner is one of the best-loved and most highly acclaimed picture book creators in the world. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages, and they have won numerous awards, including, most notably, two Caldecott Medals and two Caldecott Honor awards. (Now three Caldecott Medals: FLOTSAM has won the 2007 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.)

As a child growing up in suburban New Jersey, Wiesner re-created his world daily in his imagination. His home and his neighborhood became anything from a faraway planet to a prehistoric jungle. When the everyday play stopped, he would follow his imaginary playmates into the pages of books, wandering among dinosaurs in the World Book Encyclopedia. The images before him generated a love of detail and an admiration for the creative process.

He went on to become a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he was able to commit himself to the full-time study of art and to explore further his passion for wordless storytelling. He soon discovered that picture books were the perfect medium for his work. "It became clear to me that this is what I love to do—this was the art that I wanted to create," says Wiesner.

He has always been intrigued by and curious about what comes before and after the captured image. His books somehow convey the sequence of thoughts leading up to and following each picture, and that quality explains why they are frequently described as cinematic. Wiesner spends several years working on each new book, becoming completely absorbed in the artistic and creative process. Once published, his books area often included in classroom settings as creative springboards for art, writing, and even drama lessons. In addition, they are used by ESL classes, allowing students to express themselves creatively while being free from the pressures of having to translate words literally.

To date David Wiesner has illustrated more than twenty award-winning books for young readers. Two of the picture books he both wrote and illustrated became instant classics when they won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday in 1992 and The Three Pigs in 2002. Two others, Sector 7 and Free Fall, were named Caldecott Honor Books. An exhibit of Wiesner's original artwork, "Seeing the Story", toured the United States in 2000 and 2001. Among his many honors, Wiesner holds the Japan Picture Book Award for Tuesday, the Prix Sorcières (the French equivalent of the Caldecott Medal) for The Three Pigs, and a 2004 IBBY Honor Book nomination for illustration, also for The Three Pigs. FLOTSAM is his most recent work.

David Wiesner lives with his family in the Philadelphia area, where he continues to create dreamlike and inventive images for books.

FLOTSAM / Clarion Books / September 4, 2006 / 0-618-19457 / $17.00 / 40 pages / Ages 5-8

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