Overview

Little Cloud likes her own place in the sky, away from the other clouds. There, the sky is all hers. She is free to make her own way and go where she wishes. Can Lady Wind show Little Cloud the power of being with others? Will Little Cloud agree there is strength in unity and change her ways? A fresh take on a classic story, Little Cloud and Lady Wind will teach kids how to work together to achieve their goals.
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Overview

Little Cloud likes her own place in the sky, away from the other clouds. There, the sky is all hers. She is free to make her own way and go where she wishes. Can Lady Wind show Little Cloud the power of being with others? Will Little Cloud agree there is strength in unity and change her ways? A fresh take on a classic story, Little Cloud and Lady Wind will teach kids how to work together to achieve their goals.
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Editorial Reviews

Julie Just
Qualls's gorgeous acrylic, collage and colored-pencil drawings set the tone for this…lulling, maternal take on the simplest of stories.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
The Morrisons (Peeny Butter Fudge) examine the problem of being part of a group while maintaining one's identity. Quietly rebellious Little Cloud will not join the other clouds, who want to “terrify the earth with storm and thunder.” She loves the earth and wants to live there. Lady Wind carries her through a storm and brings her to a valley spangled with dew, mist, and a rainbow, as Little Cloud learns she can be part of the earth without losing her cloudness. In Qualls's (Before John Was a Jazz Giant) collages, Little Cloud has pensive expressions and puffy blue hair, while Lady Wind has the flowing hair and gown of a goddess. The homey, cut-and-paste nature of the pencil lines, cut-paper stars, and pale blue paint strokes forms a comfortable counterpoint to the mythic dimensions of the story. Despite some lyrical passages (“Little Cloud looked again and saw a necklace of many colors stretching from her place in the sky to the valley”), the text sometimes feels heavy-handed; the conclusion, in contrast to the story's espousal of freedom, seems preordained. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—When the biggest cloud calls all of the others together in order to "terrify the earth with storm and thunder," Little Cloud wanders away to a quiet place in the sky. She enjoys her freedom and longs to engage with such earthly delights as flowers and ocean waves. Lady Wind observes her dreams and carries her off, past the pursuing thunderclouds, the lightning, and the dark mountains. In the morning, they arrive at a place where Little Cloud can see a rainbow, dew falling from her garments, and mist, and she happily declares, "Now I see. I can be me and part of something too." Young readers will empathize with Little Cloud's desire to be independent and free from what is expected of her, and they will feel her happiness at finding a place where she can realize her dreams with the help of a nurturing figure. But the oft-told story is tired, and even Qualls's whimsical depictions of a cherubic little girl with cloud hair and a Thelonius Monk-channeling storm cloud can't freshen it. The message of Aesop's "The Bundle of Sticks," that there is "strength in unity"—the fable that Morrison claims inspired this tale—is lost on young readers.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY
Kirkus Reviews
The award-winning mother and her son once again join forces for a picture book. But whereas Peeny Butter Fudge (2009) was spread with warmth and humor, this presents a wildly peculiar fable on belonging-sort of. Little Cloud drifts away from the stormy mass that is bent on earthly destruction. She then discovers a love for the "[p]urple mountains with scarves of snow" that she sees below and yearns to skip and play thereon. She is scooped up by Lady Wind, who flies with her through a storm until morning breaks, and Little Cloud sees the pearly dew, a rainbow and mist. Blissfully she proclaims that "I am me and all the things I dreamed of." Qualls's paintings feature a blue-haired Little Cloud with very red lips. Images float by in swirls and swoops, valiantly trying to make sense of the text. All in all, once past the '60s love-in mentality, the story seems to be an homage to Aeolian spirits that reworks the Aesop fable, "A Bundle of Sticks." But can farmers depend on gentle mists to water their fields? Doubtful. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
The Morrisons present a modern fable about the need for independence as well as the beauty of being a part of everything else. Little Cloud discovers "I can be me and part of something too."—Yellow Brick Road, May/June 2010
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442436886
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 772,990
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize–winning American author, editor, and professor. Her contributions to the modern canon are numerous. Some of her acclaimed titles include: The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature 1993.
Slade Morrison was born in Ohio and educated in New York City. He studied art at SUNY Purchase and collaborated with his mother, Toni Morrison, on five books for children.
Sean Qualls has created art for magazines, newspapers, advertisements and children's books. His work is a mixed media combination of painting, drawing, and collage. Sean is the illustrator of Before John was a Jazz Giant, which received the Coretta Scott King Honor award; The Baby on the Way (FSG), a New York Times Notable Book, Powerful Words (Scholastic); Poet Slave of Cuba (HENRY HOLT), a BCCB Blue Ribbon Book; How We Are Smart (Lee & Low) and Dizzy (Scholastic) an ALA Notable, Kirkus Best Book, BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors' Choice, Horn Book Magazine Fanfare Book, and a Child Magazine Best Book. His first book with Simon and Schuster is Little Cloud and Lady Wind (Spring 2010) by Toni and Slade Morrison. He lives with his wife and son in Brooklyn, New York.

Biography

Toni Morrison has been called "black America's best novelist," and her incredible string of imaginative contemporary classics would suggest that she is actually one of America's best novelists regardless of race. Be that as it may, it is indeed difficult to disconnect Morrison's work from racial issues, as they lie at the heart of her most enduring novels.

Growing up in Lorain, Ohio, a milieu Jet magazine described as "mixed and sometimes hostile," Morrison experienced racism firsthand. (When she was still a toddler, her home was set on fire with her family inside.) Yet, her father instilled in her a great sense of dignity, a cultural pride that would permeate her writing. She distinguished herself in school, graduating from Howard and Cornell Universities with bachelor's and master's degrees in English; in addition to her career as a writer, she has taught at several colleges and universities, lectured widely, and worked in publishing.

Morrison made her literary debut in 1970 with The Bluest Eye, the story of a lonely 11-year-old black girl who prays that God will turn her eyes blue, in the naïve belief that this transformation will change her miserable life. As the tale unfolds, her life does change, but in ways almost too tragic and devastating to contemplate. On its publication, the book received mixed reviews; but John Leonard of The New York Times recognized the brilliance of Morrison's writing, describing her prose as "...so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry."

Over time, Morrison's talent became self-evident, and her reputation grew with each successive book. Her second novel, Sula, was nominated for a National Book Award; her third, 1977's Song of Solomon, established her as a true literary force. Shot through with the mythology and African-American folklore that informed Morrison's childhood in Ohio, this contemporary folktale is notable for its blending of supernatural and realistic elements. It was reviewed rapturously and went on win a National Book Critics Circle Award.

The culmination of Morrison's storytelling skills, and the book most often considered her masterpiece, is Beloved. Published in 1987 and inspired by an incident from history, this post-Civil War ghost story tells the story of Sethe, a former runaway slave who murdered her baby daughter rather than condemn her to a life of slavery. Now, 18 years later, Sethe and her family are haunted by the spirit of the dead child. Heartbreaking and harrowing, Beloved grapples with mythic themes of love and loss, family and freedom, grief and guilt, while excavating the tragic, shameful legacy of slavery. The novel so moved Morrison's literary peers that 48 of them signed an open letter published in The New York Times, demanding that she be recognized for this towering achievement. The book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize; and in 2006, it was selected by The New York Times as the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years.

In addition to her extraordinary novels, Morrison has also written a play, short stories, a children's book, and copious nonfiction, including essays, reviews, and literary and social criticism. While she has made her name by addressing important African-American themes, her narrative power and epic sweep have won her a wide and diverse audience. She cannot be dismissed as a "black writer" any more than we can shoehorn Faulkner's fiction into "southern literature." Fittingly, she received the Nobel Prize in 1993; perhaps the true power of her impressive body of work is best summed up in the Swedish Academy's citation, which reads: "To Toni Morrison, who, in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Good To Know

Chloe Anthony Wofford chose to publish her first novel under the name Toni Morrison because she believed that Toni was easier to pronounce than Chloe. Morrison later regretted assuming the nom de plume.

In 1986, the first production of Morrison's sole play Dreaming Emmett was staged. The play was based on the story of Emmett Till, a black teen murdered by racists in 1955.

Morrison's prestigious status is not limited to her revered novels or her multitude of awards. She also holds a chair at Princeton University.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Chloe Anthony Wofford (real name)
      Toni Morrison
    2. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey, and Manhattan
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 18, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lorain, Ohio
    1. Education:
      Howard University, B.A. in English, 1953; Cornell, M.A., 1955

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