The big clouds have a plan. They’ll all gather together and make a big storm, to terrify the Earth. But gentle Little Cloud doesn’t want to be part of this group, and she certainly doesn’t want to scare anyone, so she goes off by herself. For a long time she’s very lonely, until one night Lady Wind visits her and takes her on a trip across the sky. They have to brave the big clouds terrible storm, but on the other side Lady Wind is able to show Little Cloud all the different things she can do and still be true to herself.
In other words, Little Cloud and Lady Wind is quite a complex book for children. There are themes of bullying, tenderness, individuality, and loneliness to deal with. Is it a *good* book for children? Although I found it a touch preachy at times, I can say it has gone over well in my house. Both my 5 year old and 3 year old have returned to it a number of times; that is usually a sign they’re working through some new idea, though so far they’ve been unable to discuss it much with me. Still, I’ve been able to take the story and elaborate various aspects of it, planting the seeds of new thoughts in their heads. I think this is a book I’ll want to return to a couple of times a year for quite some time, as I think the kids will get more out of it each time, as they grow.
From an artistry standpoint, Little Cloud and Lady Wind is very well done. The text is wonderfully descriptive, full of lush metaphors that could provide a worthwhile storytime discussion all on their own. The art is beautiful, combining simple lines and uncomplicated images in a way that evokes the cloud/mist/dream world in a way I can’t quite describe.
Definitely a book worth reading.
Available on Amazon
Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison, illustrated by Sean Qualls. Simon & Schuster, 2010.