Whoever coined the phrase about a picture being worth a thousand words must have been talking about David Wiesner. An incredibly talented and imaginative storyteller, this Caldecott-winning author/illustrator weaves intricate and complex tales without using a single world. His rich illustrations, magnificent attention to detail and truly unique storylines make Wiesner’s work the perfect springboard for imaginative play. Here are three of our favorite Wiesner texts, paired with hands-on extension activities to enrich the learning experience.
When a boy discovers an antique underwater camera washed up on the shore, the resulting photographs not only open a window into the fantastical depths of the sea but into the past as well.
Weave your own tales of undersea adventure inspired by the camera’s images:
Take close-up photos of sea treasures (or woodland finds); arrange them into a personal wordless picture book.
Build a media scavenger hunt or puzzle with your photographs.
It’s an ordinary, slightly ho-hum filed trip to the Empire State Building. That is, until a curious little boy makes a new, unexpected friend and sets off on a magical journey to Sector 7 – a cloud factory high in the sky.
Take pictures of unusual cloud shapes; use permanent marker to transform the prints into works of art.
Fill a baby pool with shaving cream and sculpt your own cloud formations.
Think of other natural phenomena and explain how they occur: what makes a sunset? Who or what controls the tides?
It’s Tuesday night in the swamp and the frogs are itching for adventure. See what happens in this fantastic tale of flying amphibians on the move.
Research nocturnal animals. Find out which species you might encounter in your area.
Arm yourselves with flashlights and take a nighttime stroll. Note the evening occurrences you see. How might they be turned into a story?
Pick up the narrative where Wiesner leaves off. What will the pigs do next Tuesday?
Do you have a favorite Wiesner book? Did you try any of these activities? Let me know in the comments, or on my Facebook page!