Wiesner creates the kind of picture books that anyone can enjoy. Most of his stories have very few words, or no words at all, so you have to ‘read’ the pictures. When you open a Wiesner book, you learn to expect the unexpected. The stories and illustrations are surreal, charming and memorable. They are most definitely not just for children! He’s won the Caldecott Medal – a prestigious award for American picture books – three times.
My favourite is Mr Wuffles!. An adorable house-cat battles against a tiny spaceship disguised as a toy. The aliens are conspiring with the ants to take over the world. Will they succeed or will the heroic Mr Wuffles save the day?
Wiesner’s take on The Three Pigs sees the characters journey out of the book, into other fairy tales. He subverts the classic tale – when it begins, you think you know what’s going to happen, but things quickly get surreal.
In Flotsam, a boy finds an old camera washed up on the beach. When he develops the photos, he sees amazing underwater cities… and a child holding a photo of another child, who is holding a photo of another child, and so on, back through time.
Art & Max is about two lizard friends who love painting, but Max’s exuberant amateur style annoys Arthur, who is an experienced artist. I find this book to be an interesting exploration of creativity and a reminder to experiment.
There isn’t exactly much of a story to Tuesday. Basically it looks like a ordinary Tuesday evening, until the frogs fly out of the ponds and cruise through the sky on their lily pads. Will anyone notice? Why is it happening? I suppose it must be magic. The illustrations certainly are magical.