September 8, 2009

A Picture is Worth...

I wish I could say I'm posting a day late because we were having crazy fun on Labor Day. The reality is my entire family came down with a cold, and I was stuck trying to appease three very cranky people. Everyone is feeling a little better, but today is Little Page's first day of pre-K and the start of fall church activities so I'm a wee busy.

I've scrapped the theme I had planned and will save it for next week (stay tuned!). Instead, this week I'll feature three random books we love.

The Book - Flotsam by David Wiesner

I love David Wiesner! How could you not? His illustrations are brilliant... full of life and humor. He's the winner of multiple Caldecott awards, including one for Flotsam.

Flotsam is a true picture book; the story is told completely by the illustrations. When a big wave washes up an old camera, a little boy takes the film to get developed. (I had to take the time to explain what "film" was to my digital-age preschooler.) When he receives the developed pictures, he is amazed... and so are we! Fantastical underwater scenes fill the next pages of the book. I could honestly look at these for hours, they are so detailed and imaginative. The final picture is of a child holding a photo. When the little boy looks closely he sees the photo in the child's hand is of another child holding a photo. Zooming in on this photo, we look back into the past at all the children who found the camera and added their picture. The little boy loads a new roll of film into the camera, takes a picture of himself holding that telescoping photo of children, and then tosses it back into the ocean where it starts another adventure.

I'll admit, the concept of the story is above a preschooler's comprehension level. I was a little frustrated trying to get Little Page to understand who all those children in the pictures were. Still, she loved looking at the underwater scenes and grasped enough of the plot to enjoy it.

The Activity - Budding Ansel Adams

Little Page has a Fisher Price digital camera. It takes low-res, grainy images, but she loves it. Every once in a while, she'll pull out the camera from the bottom of the toy bin and go on a shooting spree. Nothing is safe from her lens, including her family! The camera allows her to explore her world in a new way and gives me the opportunity to see life as she sees it. So if you have an old digital camera lying around or if those doting grandparents want to know what to buy for your child's next birthday, consider getting a kid-friendly camera. As Flotsam demonstrates, it opens up a whole new world for exploration!

Thought you might enjoy seeing some of Little Page's photographs...

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