“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein-
And, a picture really is worth a thousand words~that light the fire of imagination. What if there were books that could do just that? Books with pictures only, deeply rooted in vivid imagination, and in the form of a story?
Yes, there are such books. David Wiesner has mastered the art of wordless storytelling. Think they’re for children? Think again!
Years ago I discovered the book, Flotsam. A boy is at the beach, an old underwater camera washes up on the shore- with a roll of film inside. He develops the film only to discover…
A picture of a picture, of a picture, and so on. This leads to what is perhaps really beneath the ocean, and a sequential history of sorts. The art is incredible. Not surprising, as it is the story itself. Images of what if abound to plant the seeds of imagination.
History goes back to the turn of the century. I love history as much as imagination. The discussion and conversations about the children in the book, pictured back to the turn of the century, emulates just what reading aloud does, adding vocabulary and opening new doors of discovery. Talking and thinking. Brain building. Soul building. The illustrations stand on their own as a gateway to…wherever the mind can go.
Wordless books are sometimes my uphill battle with adults. Many parents are so locked into the words telling you the story, that they can’t see the forest for the trees, or the immense opportunities to unlock their child’s brain and stimulate vocabulary. Hey, the reader and listener have to talk, really talk.
All I can say is, “You have to read the book!”
Another remarkable David Wiesner book is Tuesday. On a Tuesday, something happens to frogs. The illustrations are a slow growth into an adventure that any and every child (and adult) delights in and understands. Marvelous in imagination! The ending has a terrific twist.
The day after I saw the exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum, Ryan happened to bring his frog to Summer Camp, a perfect replica of David Wiesner’s frogs. I said, “Ryan, there is a book about your frog!” I grabbed his hand and we went to the library at school. Well, we actually ran. I found Tuesday, and we dove into the book together. Oh, how we read, talked…you get the picture. Ryan said, “This is the best book I have ever read.” He meant it. He ‘got it’.