Book Review: Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld


Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

Cloudette is the smallest of clouds.  Usually it was just fine to be the littlest.  She was called by cute nicknames, she had little friends, she was great at hiding, and she even slept in a special spot on the moon.  But sometimes, she felt left out because she was so small.  She couldn’t do the important work that the big clouds did, like storm fronts and rainbows.  She wanted to do something big herself, but all of her big ideas didn’t work out.  One day, she was blown by a storm to a new area where she had never been before.  There she found a lone frog sitting in a dried up pond.  Cloudette knew she could help, but only if she tried very, very hard.  By helping in one place, she realized that there was  a lot one small cloud could do in the world.

Lichtenheld’s text is a pleasure to read aloud.  He has included all sorts of aside comments from the clouds, Cloudette herself, and animals too.  They give the book more flavor and a stronger tone.  The small making a large impact and doing something big is an idea that is featured in a lot of children’s books. Children relate to being the smallest, being envious of what bigger people can do, and feeling powerless themselves. Cloudette is certain to speak directly to the fact that small contributions can add up to something big.

The artwork here is bright, simple and entertaining.  While some pages have a paneled look, many of them are single or double-page spreads.  Lichtenheld nicely contrasts background colors to create a book that is colorful and that will work well with a group.

Cloudette will have you cheering for her and is sure to easily create small fans.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt & Co.

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