Author/Illustrator: Daniel Miyares
My rating: 5 of 5
Inspired by a picture of a boat in the newspaper, the boy folds the page into a paper boat and goes outside to play with it. But look out! A storm is brewing. The boy and his boat weather the storm together, and he delights in the aftermath, splashing through puddles and floating his boat in a runoff river until it gets away from him, disappearing down a drain grating. Dejected, he returns home for a little TLC and a reminder that he can always try again with a new project–say, a plane?
Walking by the children’s shelf in the bookstore, I knew I had to own Float before I ever opened the cover. This wordless picture book is just beautiful in style, layout, and message from the front cover on. I love the art! The composition of the elements is extremely well arranged, and the contrast between the brightness of the boy and the drabness of his surroundings is quite effective. And I love how dynamic the motions seem in the pictures–that’s a really nice touch. I also love the story that’s presented; it’s imaginative and positive. The boy uses ordinary things to have fun, he gets outdoors and plays. And (this may be my favorite part) there’s an older male figure (father, big brother, it’s never really stated) who is clearly an important and caring part of the boy’s life–I think the snapshot of their relationship is just wonderful. There are too many books with absent or uninvolved parents and older family members; kids need the stability that comes from a present and engaged family. Also a fun extra–the front and back inside covers give diagrams to make a paper boat and a paper airplane so readers can get involved in the fun themselves! Float is a gorgeous book in so many ways; definitely recommended for readers of all ages.