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:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.06(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.17(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Free Fall 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a wordless book, it relies completely on the illustrations to tell the story. While they were well done and flowed into the next page for transition, I found it to be really short. This did allow me to "re-read" it several times, thus bettering the experience. If not for going over them again, it would have been much worse due to my quick glancing thru.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a Caldecott Honor Book in 1989. It would be appropriate for children ages 5-12. This is a very entertaining story that captures your imagination. Throughout this story you follow a little boy through his dreams to find out where he will end up. I really liked this story. I think that it would keep a child¿s attention throughout the entire story. This was the first book that David Wiesner wrote. His book Tuesday was a Caldecott Award winner in 1992. He was born and raised in New Jersey and graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. He now lives in Brooklyn with his wife Kim, where he devotes full time to illustration and she pursues
Guest More than 1 year ago
Free Fall is a Caldecott Honor Book. Set Back and let your imagination run free. Follow the little boy through his dreams to find out where he will end up. As you flip through the pages of this book you will find something very interesting. This book would be good for grades k-12. I really like this book. You could use it to create your own story. It would be great to use as a story starter. This is a realistic book. This book is by David Wiesner. Wiesner was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Him and his wife live in Brooklyn where she is pursuing her career as a surgeon. Wiesner, David. Free Fall. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shephard Books, 1988.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a part of an illustrator analysis of David Wiesner for a children's literature course. I had never heard of Wiesner before, but I examined six of his most popular works, and now I'm hooked on his books! His creativity amazes me, and every time that I take another look at his books, I find something else in the illustrations that blows me away! Free Fall was a constant source of pleasure for me since I discovered something new every time that I opened the cover. This is an excellent wordless book to introduce children to (and so different from The Snowman, the traditional wordless book). If you have not discovered Wiesner yet, look into it and fall into ingenious world of humor, bizarreness, and amazement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an adult and found this book in paperback in a used bookstore while looking for another book. I was hooked. The artwork is amazing and it is like a moving picture with things turning into other things as the dream proceeds. It is fun just to study the pictures. I agree it may be too much for a very young child, but an older child may find it intriguing, as did I.