Illustrated by: David Wiesner
Published in 1999
Caldecott Honor Book
Genre: Picture Book
Grade Level: PreK-2
Summary: Sector 7 is a story told entirely in pictures. In this book a class of elementary students takes a field trip to the Empire State Building. While there, one little boy meets a cloud who takes him to the Sector 7 building. This is where all clouds go to be directed to their next location around the New York City area. The boy befriends the clouds, but is eventually caught by the Sector 7 officials and is sent back to his class. The book ends with the clouds above New York City taking on the shapes of sea creatures that the little boy had drawn for them.
The Good: Since this is a story completely made up of pictures it is especially important that the illustrations be good… and they are! When I first realized that this story had no text I was skeptical. I don’t remember ever “reading” a book like this before. Despite my early doubts, I found that Wiesner did an exemplary job of conveying the story through pictures. It was very easy to understand what was happening, and I don’t think that having the story written in text would have improved on it at all.
So, what makes the illustrations in this book so great? Every page in this book is clearly well thought out, from the colors to the page layout. For example, on the pages where the little boy is with his class the pages have a white margin. On the other hand, when he is with his cloud friends at Sector 7 the illustrations take up the full page, and there is a slightly different color palette used.
Another great thing about the illustrations are the emotions that are displayed on the characters’s faces. Both the clouds and the humans are very expressive, and the emotions really help in understanding the plot of the story.
The Bad: The only complaint I have about this book is the cover. Compared to the illustrations inside the cover is rather boring. I had picked this book up randomly, and if I hadn’t looked inside I would have left it at the library. The cover really doesn’t do the book justice.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, but it’s not one that I think I would use in my classroom. I suppose I could use it as a prompt for a creative writing project, but other than that I would have no use for it. I would definitely be interested in looking up more of David Wiesner’s books though.
I give Sector 7 four stars.
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Oswin’s Review of Sector 7
I didn’t really like this picture book. I understood what was happening in the book but it was kinda confusing. I do think children would like this book because it is creative and fictional at the same time. I did like the pictures because they were also creative. I liked how the little boy in the story took real things and made them as clouds. I wouldn’t want to “read” this kind of book again.
I give this book three stars.