Children's Authors/David Wiesner

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Biographical Information[edit | edit source]

David Wiesner was born in Bridgewater, New Jersey on February 5, 1956. As a young child he had a great imagination and would draw very creative things like prehistoric jungles, far away planets, vegetables and many other items that he would dream about. His parents would encourage this hobby by keeping a stockpile of pastels, pen-and-ink, and paint around the house.
When David was growing up in suburban New Jersey he started to become influenced by different great artists. He first became interested in Renaissance painters like Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Durer. Their specialty was in realistic, academic style art. David was very interested in the background of the painters more so than the subject of the paintings. The other painters that he became interested in were Dali, Magritte, and De Chirico, who were surrealists.
David attended and graduated Rhode Island School of Design where he was able to further his passion for wordless storytelling. After he graduated with a BFA in Illustration he married surgeon Kim Kahng in 1983. They have two children. They both wrote his first book Loathsome Dragon. Free Fall, his second book, was an accordion-style book. When you opened it up, it was about forty feet long. It was a representation of his huge stockpile of imagery and ideas that had been building up for years. He received his first Caldecott Honor for this book.
Another one of his favorite books was Tuesday. A magazine cover that he designed for Cricket inspired this book. He had models of frogs that were bumpy, different colors, and very weird-looking. He had a great time drawing these frogs. This book was probably the most spontaneously generated book he had ever done, completing it in about an hour. This book also won a Caldecott award.
David experimented with a new idea when he wrote and illustrated The Three Pigs with pigs flying off the page onto another page and words floating all around. He put in blank white pages throughout the book. He had other characters from other stories in this as well. He used dragons, fish, and cats. In this story, the pigs did not die.
David Wiesner's work has evolved over the years. He can remember drawing when he was as young as four years old. He started drawing fish, vegetable and flying things and has never stopped. David has illustrated more than twenty award-winning books. He has won many Caldecott Medal Awards, IBBY Honour Book nomination for illustration and has made the New York Times bestseller list. His family resides in the Philadelphia area where he continues to dream and creates books.

Books of Interest[edit | edit source]

Free Fall begins with a young boy fast asleep, a storybook lying open on his chest. The boy begins to dream while the pages of the book start to fly and take life. He becomes a character in the book as the chess pieces begin to talk with him. He then goes through many exciting adventures during the course of the book. It would keep a child’s attention throughout the entire story because the artwork is amazing and it is like a moving picture with things turning into other things as the dream proceeds.

Hurricane is a very realistic story that many young readers could become addicted to and not want to put down. It is about 2 brothers who are waiting for a large hurricane to arrive in their town. When the storm finally hits both of the boys get really scared. After the hurricane lets up and is over the boys notice that there is a large tree that fell down right next to their house. It wasn't their tree; it was the neighbors, but they decided to play on it one day because they were extremely bored. Wiesner uses very descriptive words and pictures that are detailed and precise.

Tuesday is a good book for discussions that should start while looking at the pictures. The illustrations are so realistic and comical that any child would enjoy them. His illustrations are simple watercolors, well detailed and in-depth. Beginning at 8:00 pm, the reader sees a three-part picture of a pond that changes perspective to focus on an alarmed turtle. Frogs on lily pads have taken flight and begin to chase after birds, intimidate a dog and confuse a man eating midnight snack. This is a great imagination book for all children to read and look at.

June 29, 1999 is a beautiful science fiction story. This book is an excellent example of science fiction because it demonstrates the impact science can have when it is implemented in an extraordinary and imaginative ways. Wiesner's interesting combination of pictures and text makes this book incredibly unique and captivating. The exquisite watercolors are truly out of this world. The photo realistic quality of the figures and background add to the story line.

The Three Pigs is a creative and delightful picture book. This book is a good example of a fairytale because the story is set up so that the reader can withhold skepticism and enjoy the fantasy world that the author has created. The pigs wander through other stories, their bodies changing to take on the new style of illustration as they enter the pages emerging with a dragon and the cat with a fiddle.

Flotsam is a wordless picture book, with detailed illustrations that reward close examination. A story is told through a series of events with only pictures. The pictures are very detailed and wonderful. When a boy finds a camera washed up on the beach, he develops the film inside and finds pictures that give a glimpse at a hidden world, and a past world.

References[edit | edit source]

David Wiesner,

The Origin of a Wordless Author,

David Wiesner,

Kids’ Q & A,

Authors In-dept Interview,

David Wiesner. (1988). Free Fall. New York, NY. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books.

David Wiesner. (1990). Hurricane. New York, NY. Clarion Books.

David Wiesner. (1991). Tuesday. New York, NY. Clarion Books.

David Wiesner. (1992). June 29, 1999. New York, NY. Clarion Books.

David Wiesner. (2001). The Three Pigs. New York, NY. Clarion Books.

David Wiesner. (2006). Flotsam. New York, NY. Clarion Books.