David Wiesner has the amazing ability to take an everyday occurrence and turn it into the magical. Each spread in this wordless picture book poses so many questions and tells so many stories!

A trip to the seaside opens up a world to marvel at for a boy with his magnifying glass as he studies each delight the beach offers. After he is knocked off his feet by a huge wave, he finds an old camera, left as the tide goes out. The label announces it is an underwater camera and as he investigates further, he finds it contains a roll of film.

Having waited impatiently for the film to be developed, he stares in amazement at the pictures he finds. Fantastical views of a clockwork fish, an octopus at home with its family, turtles with shell villages on their backs...many wonders- each a rich story- have been captured by the camera.

The final photo shows a girl holding a photo of a boy holding a photo... Intrigued, the boy uses the magnifying glass to look more closely. Still not satisfied, he reaches for a microscope. As he zooms in, he is able to see all the camera's previous finders. He takes his own photo as all those others before him have and returns the camera to the sea where it is taken on its travels once more.

This is a book that has limitless possibilities for using with children. The illustrations inspire a million and one ideas for stories, for building language ideas, for creating characters... They can also inspire art work- and photography!

Then there's the close observation- looking at objects like a scientist. Or gathering 'flotsam' from a beach and creating the history- the story behind- each find. A trip to the beach could result in a beach clean up (taking all the necessary health and safety precautions into account, of course!) and what a host of sciene and maths work could follow. Categorising materials, considering which float and sink, which materials are biodegradable, the effects of rubbish on our oceans- all these areas could be explored using Flotsam as a starting point.

So much to explore...

Flotsam   David Wiesner

Anderson Press    ISBN: 978-1849394499