From Flotsam, by David Wiesner
Watercolor on paper, 2007
(Click the photo for a larger version)
David Wiesner is a kindred spirit; I first read his book Flotsam knowing nothing about him, but felt immediately tied to his artwork and this beautiful book with no words but an amazing story. As it turns out, that story--about a boy who finds an underwater camera at the beach--takes place at a beach in New Jersey. Kindred indeed. Wiesner grew up in New Jersey and splits his time between the Jersey Shore and Philadelphia, and has received three Caldecott Medals (including one for Flotsam), along with two Caldecott Honors. In 2010, I was at the Art Institute of Chicago and tucked away in a corner on the bottom floor was a small exhibition of original Caldecott art, and some of the work for Flotsam was there, including original sketches and first drafts so viewers could see Wiesner's process for creating the illustrations. I felt so incredibly lucky to have the chance to see Wiesner's art for one of my favourite picture books in person--seeing original art for any picture book is incredibly rare, and to have a chance encounter with Flotsam's paintings...well, kindred indeed.
Email me your submissions for this week's SIA by the evening of Monday, May 20th. I can't wait to see how you all interpret this one!