What better way to finish off Winners Wednesday than with David Wiesner’s Tuesday. Arguably one of the best wordless pictures of all time, Tuesday is the story of a group of frogs who take flight one Tuesday evening on lily pads that function as flying saucers. On their big night out, the frogs fly through clotheslines, watch some TV, and terrorize neighborhood pets, leaving a trail of lily pads behind when they return home at the end of the evening.
The first thing that makes this book so wonderful is that it makes no attempt to explain itself. We never know why the frogs are suddenly able to fly, or what it is about this particular Tuesday night that sent them soaring through town. We also don’t know the frogs’ motives and, at times, they don’t seem to know either. One can easily imagine David Wiesner spending hours simply thinking of all the things a frog could do given the ability to fly and an entire night on the town.
The second things that make this book one of of my favorites are the facial expressions of the characters. There is a scene where a man eating a midnight snack sees the frogs fly by, and his facial expression is exactly what mine would be if a fleet of amphibians soared by my window. Later on, the frogs are watching TV with a sleeping old woman and each of them appears to be having a slightly different experience. Some seem enthralled by the events taking place on the screen, while others seem bored. One of them is even peeking out from behind the old woman’s chair, as if too afraid to get close to the screen.
The original and imaginative qualities of this book make it the perfect choice for children of all ages, both inside and outside of the classroom. I would be fascinated to hear how a child would tell this story in his or her own words. I would especially love to create thought bubbles for several of the characters in the story and have a child imagine what they are thinking in those moments. The possible uses for this text are truly limitless, and it is the kind of story that children will remember for years to come.