Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book #263: Sector 7 by David Wiesner

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Follow the wordless adventures of a boy who goes on very unusual field trip. It starts out as a trip to the Empire State Building, but on the observation deck the boy makes friends with a small cloud. The cloud takes him on a journey to the headquarters for Sector 7, a floating train station for clouds. Some of the clouds can’t quite follow the cloud designs they’ve been given by the station masters, so the boy draws new designs for them – beautiful sea creatures! Large mouthed lion fish, floating jellyfish, puffer fish, and dozens of smaller fish. The station masters aren’t so happy with these design and they send the boy back to New York City. But on his way home from the field trip from the window of the school bus, the boy sees clouds that look strangely like sea creatures!

Known for his beautiful and creative wordless books, Wiesner’s style is in fine form in this imaginative Caldecott Honor book.  His watercolor illustrations are cinematic and atmospheric; you can almost hear the sounds of wind rushing past your face. The illustrations fill the pages from corner to corner in amazing detail and depth.Some illustrations are full page, while others are split into panels of various sizes. Although there isn’t any spoken dialogue, looking at the facial expressions of the humans and clouds is like watching a silent film, you can figure out what’s going on even without dialogue cards.

Use this for a storytime or unit about weather or clouds. Try pairing this book with All the Water in the World or Thunder Cake. After you read the book, look at the illustration that shows the departure and arrival times of different kinds of clouds. Discuss the different types of clouds on the list: cirrus, cumulonimbus, cumulus, etc. Find pictures of each type of cloud to compare and contrast. Unroll a long piece of butcher paper and have the kids draw a cross section of the sky that shows the altitude of each type of cloud.

Look at the globe that’s marked with the different sectors in the book. Is your location shown on the globe? Can you figure out what sector you live in? If your location is not on the globe, see if you can guesstimate the sector. Have the kids design the cloud station for their sector.

For a simple, no frills craft have kids draw their own cloud designs. Help them write the reasons for their choices on the paper. You can also give kids cotton balls, dough or clay and let them sculpt their own clouds. If your looking for a messier craft (and what kid doesn’t like a messy craft?), try these colorful cloud jars as posted by Holly. While you’ve got the shaving cream out, try some shaving cream painting. I haven’t tried this one, but I’m completely fascinated by the idea of making a soap cloud by putting a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave and watching it expand into a cloud!

If you enjoy this wonderfully inventive and imaginative book, check out Wiesner’s other books.


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