I wanted to share some of our latest favorite books–Mr. Wuffles!, Flotsam, and The Three Pigs. All are by David Wiesner, who our family absolutely loves. (When my husband saw me writing this he said, “We do love David Wiesner.”) Wiesner also wrote the classic Tuesday about the flying frogs. His picture books have very little text (if any) but tell thorough and clever stories.
In Mr. Wuffles!, an alien spaceship lands on earth to make first contact. Unfortunately it is very tiny and gets mistaken for a cat toy. The cat, Mr. Wuffles, begins playing with the spaceship knocking around the poor aliens and breaking their ship. The aliens get away and befriend some ants and ladybugs. They then need to work together on the repairs and to get the aliens back to their ship so that they can escape from Mr. Wuffles. This is without a doubt one of the most creative stories we’ve come across.
An old-fashioned underwater camera washes ashore while a boy is playing. Once developed, the film reveals fantastical images from the ocean–islands that are really sea stars, cities made of shells upon the backs of turtles, a puffer fish used as a hot air balloon, and even the aliens from Mr. Wuffles. The final picture is a girl holding a picture of a boy holding a picture and so on. Using a magnifying glass and then a microscope, the boy is able to see how far back the pictures go–that each child found the camera and took a picture of themselves holding the final picture. After taking a picture of himself holding the picture, he releases the camera back into the ocean for another child to find. While the story might not be as complicated, the images are absolutely beautiful and encourage the imagination. Wiesner also does a great job playing with size, magnification, and perspective.
We all know the story of the three little pigs, right? But Wiesner’s take on the story is such a fun and creative twist. When the big bad wolf huffs and puffs, he does more than just blow down the first pig’s house; he blows the pig right of the story. The big then goes and gets his brothers out of the story and they start exploring the white space. They enter other stories, including Hey Diddle, Diddle, and meet some friends along the way. While they decide there is no place like home, they also make up their own ending to the story.