This is a re-post of a review that appeared on August 7, 2007
Heading to the beach with a preschooler? Or hoping to keep alive the memories of an earlier trip to the seashore? Pick up David Wiesner’s Flotsam (Clarion, $17.95 ages 3 and up), an eloquent, wordless picture book that won this year’s Caldecott Medal from the American Library Association www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/01/22/. Flotsam www.clarionbooks.com tells the story of a boy who finds an underwater camera that washes up on a beach and takes him on a magical journey to distant times and places.
Consider Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach (Dragonfly, $6.99, paperback, ages 3 and up) , a Caldecott Honor book, for children who can only dream of a trip to the seashore. It tells the story of Depression-era girl who spends summer nights on a Harlem rooftop she calls “tar beach,” a place that inspires dreams of flying above the George Washington Bridge. As often in her work, Ringgold www.faithringgold.com incorporates motifs from black history and culture. Her heroine’s magical journeys build on the flight-to-freedom theme in African-American literature.
One-Minute Book Reviews is an independent blog created by Janice Harayda www.janiceharayda.com, who has been the book columnist for Glamour, the book editor of the Plain Dealer, and a vice-president of the National Book Critics Circle www.bookcritics.org. A new review of a book for children or teenagers appears every Saturday on this site.
(c) 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.