Float

This wordless picture book perfectly captures the pleasure that can be found with the simplest toys and a little imagination.

The book starts with sheets of newspaper (notice the picture of a boat on one of the pages) and two sets of hands starting to fold them. Then dressed in bright yellow rain gear, a little boy emerges from the house, proudly clutching his paper boat. 

As the rain comes and puddles form,  the boy leaps around, splashing in his wellies while clutching his little boat, At last, he sets it on the water, his beaming face reflected on its surface.

Too late, he realises how strong the current is and chases his boat until it is dragged down a drain and flops out of a pipe as a water-logged sheet of paper. Despondent, he returns home where a hug, a dry off and a hot drink restore him to good humour. More newspaper folding (notice the picture of the plane!) mean he has a new toy to take out into the sunshine and fly off on his imagination once more.

This is such a lovely book. I found it at Cheltenham Festival last year, nestled between some other wordless picture books and knew I had to have it. 

The end papers give instructions for how to make a paper boat (at the front) and a paper plane (at the end) and, as my picture shows, they are easy to follow and make a boat of your own.

The brilliant yellow of the boy's rain gear stands out vividly against the muted, moody greys of the rainy day, attracting your attention to his antics, yet each spread is full of detail and is worthy of repeated viewings. The plot is simple- but perfect! It follows the highs and lows of his adventure...his excitement, his dispair, the warmth of his relationship, the anticipation of a new scheme.

There is so much you could do with this in school, starting with making, and playing with, paper boats and planes! Think of the science work this could unleash! All of the below statements from the 'working scientifically' section of the Y5/6 programme of study for a start!

...planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary; taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate; recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs; using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests; reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations...

A great book for enjoying- and inspiring work!

Float by Daniel Miyares

Simon and Schuster   ISBN: 978-1481415248