Tuesday - Thao Lam
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“A wonderful student but…” is a phrase that would commonly show up on my report cards and I swear my dad’s eye would twitch each time he stumbled across one of those “buts”. The only complaint I ever got all through school was my lack of concentration. English class was spent deep sea diving, looking for new life forms; Geography class was spent in a shoot-out with foreign spies; History class was spent being chased by an angry mob of Muppets; Science class was spent swinging from tree to tree with monkeys; and my Math teacher had an unfortunate encounter with a T-Rex. I would recreate my world daily in my imagination. Keep reading…

You can take your imagination on a flight of fancy to a world where David Wiesner takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. Tuesday, written and illustrated by Wiesner, is best described as a cinematic experience. With few words, an incredible story unfolds in this picture book. Witness the unpredictable events of this particular Tuesday evening, when frogs take off on their lily pads like flying carpets, sailing over the countryside and into town. Follow their eerie flight until daybreak, when the frogs lose their lily pads and head back to the pond. What will happen next Tuesday?

I found this wonderful quote from a review by the Los Angeles Parent that seem to sum up Tuesday perfectly: “Sort of science fiction, sort of National Enquirer, sort of 1940s-style detective story, sort of 1960s-style comic book. Totally fun.”

David Wiesner is one of my favorite authors; he has an amazing ability to challenge our imagination and ask us to believe in a world of possibilities. Wiesner’s books are all almost wordless, relying on pictures to carry the story so it doesn’t seem so far-fetched when he asks us to believe in flying frogs. Somehow, it seems more believable when one has witnessed it with their own eyes rather than just hearing it told, like a tall tale. Wiesner believes, “A wordless book offers a different kind of an experience from one with text, for both the author and the reader. There is no author’s voice telling the story. Each viewer reads the book in his or her own way. The reader is an integral part of the storytelling process. As a result, there are as many versions of what happened that Tuesday night as there are readers.”

As a visual storyteller, the illustration is the story. The sequence of thoughts leading up to and following each picture is vital. Wiesner’s watercolours are incredibly detailed with the use of dramatic points of view and lighting effects. Like watching a silent movie, you can read the expressions of the characters (both on animals and people) and fill in for yourself what there are no words for.

Tuesday, a children’s book review by Thao Lam




Author and Illustrator David Wiesner

There were lots of glowing adjectives used in describing David Wiesner among plenty of articles and reviews, but none more insightful than the ones written by the man himself:

“When I was in the fourth grade, we’d find a short assignment on the blackboard every morning that we were supposed to work on until the bell rang to start class. This was called ‘a.m. work,’ One morning I looked up from a scene I was creating to find our teacher, Miss Klingibel, standing next to me. She was not amused. She took my picture and wrote an angry note to my mother: ‘David would rather be drawing than doing his a.m. work.’ In my opinion, that was the most astute comment she made all year.

I went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design. I was finally in a place where everyone would rather be drawing than doing ‘a.m. work.’

Wiesner recreated his world daily in his imagination. David Wiesner and I are kindred spirits.

To find out more about David Wiesner, please visit his website: www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/authors/wiesner

Publisher Clarion Books; 1St Edition edition (April 22, 1991)

ISBN-10 0395551137

ISBN-13 978-0395551134