Free Fall

( 6 )

Overview

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.

A young boy dreams of daring adventures in the company of imaginary creatures inspired by the things surrounding his bed.

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Overview

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.

A young boy dreams of daring adventures in the company of imaginary creatures inspired by the things surrounding his bed.

Read More Show Less

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

  • ISBN-13: 9780688109905
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1991
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 185,218
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.06 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.17 (d)

Meet the Author

David Wiesner

David Wiesner has been awarded the Caldecott Medal three times, for Flotsam in 2007, The Three Pigs in 2002, and Tuesday in 1992. He has received the Caldecott Honor twice, for Sector 7 in 2000 and Free Fall in 1989. Free Fall is the first title he both authored and illustrated. His cover art now graces The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Among many other accolades, David has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

David Wiesner has been awarded the Caldecott Medal three times, for Flotsam in 2007, The Three Pigs in 2002, and Tuesday in 1992. He has received the Caldecott Honor twice, for Sector 7 in 2000 and Free Fall in 1989. Free Fall is the first title he both authored and illustrated. His cover art now graces The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Among many other accolades, David has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Biography

David Wiesner's interest in visual storytelling dates back to high school days when he made silent movies and drew wordless comic books. Born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. While a student, he created a painting nine feet long, which he now recognizes as the genesis of Free Fall, his first book of his own authorship, for which he was awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal in 1989.

David won his first Caldecott Medal in 1992 for Tuesday, and has gone on to win twice more: in 2002 for The Three Pigs and in 2007 for Flotsam. In addition writing and illustrating his own picture books, he has illustrated stories for many other children's authors.

Good To Know

  • At a young age, he created wordless comic books such as Slop the Wonder Pig and silent movies like his kung-fu vampire film The Saga of Butcula.

  • As an undergraduate at Rhode Island School of Design, he met two mentors: Tom Sgouros and David Macaulay who taught him the fundamentals of illustration and fostered his creative imagination. He dedicated Tuesday to Sgouros and The Three Pigs to Macaulay.

  • Wiesner is a three-time Caldecott winner and only the second person in the award's long history to claim that distinction.
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      1. Hometown:
        Outside Philadelphia, P.A.
      1. Date of Birth:
        February 5, 1956
      2. Place of Birth:
        Bridgewater, NJ
      1. Education:
        Rhode Island School of Design -- BFA in Illustration.
      2. Website:

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 6 )
    Rating Distribution

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    (3)

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    Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted February 23, 2010

      Wordless Wonder

      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.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 23, 2007

      Free Fall

      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

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 28, 2006

      Free Fall

      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.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted September 29, 2004

      Free Fall is ingenious!

      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.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 21, 2003

      Fantastic Artwork

      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.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 6, 2010

      No text was provided for this review.

    Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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