Daniel Miyares’ Float is the story of a young boy who makes a paper boat out of a newspaper with his father, and then heads out into the rain-drenched neighborhood to set it sail in the rain-water; the boat gets away from him and slips down a water drain, so the boy tracks it to the mouth of the drain, where the boat emerges, worse for wear.
The story is told wordlessly, with Miyares employing a largely grey palette, save for the boy’s yellow rainwear and squares of pink and blue that adorn the boat itself. Miyares is a master of visual storytelling. The use of panels is wildly effective here, as are the employed perspective tricks and choice of angles.
The boy’s emotions are constantly clear, from the reserved joy when the rain starts and as he plays in the water, to the panic he feels as the boast slips away. Miyares milks a great deal of feeling from a very basic premise, and when at the end the palette explodes into bright yellows and the boy starts out on another adventure, we also share in his excitement.
Float is an excellent book, and a great example of how a picture book without words can succeed. It’s a story that captures what it’s like to be a child better than most, and will surely offer something to relate to for any reader. Recommended.
Kinderlit.ca requested and received a copy of Float in exchange for an honest review. Read our review policy HERE.