David Wiesner's Tuesday
Children's book review by Steve Barancik
A wordless picture book featuring flying frogs!
Make sure you spend a moment looking at the cover image of this, David Wiesner's first Caldecott Medal-winning book.
You won't find that image again within the pages.
More importantly, spend some real time with the triptych (three panels) that appears once you open the book but before the title page. The story really starts here.
Three frogs at dusk go wide-eyed as the lily pads they were dozing on suddenly start floating up in the air.
On Tuesday (Tuesday nights, to be particular) it seems that some species of animal in some specific locale is given the power of flight. This Tuesday, it's the turn of the frogs who live in this particular pond, as their trusty lily pads become flying carpets.
The frogs don't seem to have much say in the matter, but they certainly have no objections. Flying, it turns out, is quite fun! It freaks out the local birds, as well as men having midnight snacks, and imagine the chaos as your flight path takes you right through a clothesline. You might even sail into someone's house and have a chance to play with a TV remote control!
But, just like Cinderella's magical ball gear at midnight, the lily pads lose their power come dawn, and the blissed out frogs head home, past a farm, back to the pond.
(It might even be the same farm that's home to next Tuesday's flying pigs!)
If this wordless book has any kind of message besides "flying is fun," it may be "beware jadedness." Our last frog image is of one particularly grumpy frog, tapping his frog fingers on his lily pad and looking resentfully toward the sky. As in,
"Yeah. But what have you done for me today?"
But don't get me wrong; it's all in good fun...splendid fun, actually. Tuesday offers the hope that magic may just be around the next corner.
Webmaster's note: For a more complex wordless story from Wiesner, also involving flight, you'll want to check out the wondrous Sector 7 (reviewed on this site).
Webmaster's note: And speaking of out of the ordinary days of the week, are you familiar with Dr. Seuss's Wacky Wednesday? (Also reviewed on this site.)
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