Free Fall

Free Fall

4.5 6
by David Wiesner

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When he falls asleep with a book in his arms, a young boy dreams an amazing dream-about dragons, about castles, and about an unchartered, faraway land. And you can come along.

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When he falls asleep with a book in his arms, a young boy dreams an amazing dream-about dragons, about castles, and about an unchartered, faraway land. And you can come along.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A boy falls asleep and experiences several wordless, surreal journeys. PW said, ``This unbroken dreamscape is artfully carried through a blending of ancient and modern motifs; the book is an exceptional choice for children and visually enticing for older readers.'' Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This Caldecott Honor Book tells the story—in pictures only—of a young boy's adventures within the book he was reading when he fell asleep that night. The book contains a variety of maps, and as the boy finds himself in the realm of one of the map worlds, he is confronted with all types of strange and unique characters. Animated chess people in Renaissance dress lead him to a castle where he finds knights and a wizard. A dragon is ready to pounce on him, until one of his newfound friends pulls him from that map world into another, one that makes the little boy a giant among little people. Another change of maps puts him into a cityscape; yet another has him flying through the sky alongside his new friend over mountains and bodies of water. The illustrations have an almost Escher-like quality, as the boy falls into a checkered sea where the checkerboard squares turn into leaves and fish and swans spring out of the lighter-colored pieces. The illustrations clearly are what create the story, and young readers will be able to consider and reconsider the text a number of times in terms of story and adventure. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5 In an odd wordless picture book about a dream, a fair-haired boy falls asleep while reading an ominous looking atlas. As he floats through sky and slumber, the boy's green checked bedspread is transformed into an aerial view of the earth. He then descends upon an enormous chess board complete with mortal playing pieces. This medieval welcoming party leads the youngster to their mazed castle where he continues his search (although this is not always clear) for an elusive map. The nameless protagonist's ensuing adventures are confusing, complicated, and illogical. Transformations abound in this surrealistic universe. Floating leaves change into swans, fortress walls become dragons, building fronts turn into mountains. The influence of such literary classics as Gulliver's Travels, The Wizard of Oz, and The Water-Babies, along with the artistry of Raphael, Escher, and Sendak, is apparent. Soft shades of green, blue, and yellow dominate the action. Technical virtuosity is the trademark of the double-page watercolor spreads. Especially notable is the solidity of forms and architectural details. While many of the illustrations are stunning, if somewhat slick, they work better as individual pieces than as a whole. This book lacks the sequence and logic required by young children, and it will have limited appeal among older children. Julie Corsaro, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Library Edition
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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