Little Cloud

( 3 )

Overview

The clouds drift across the bright blue sky-all except one. Little Cloud trails behind. He is busy changing shapes to become a fluffy sheep, a zooming airplane, and even a clown with a funny hat. Eric Carle's trademark collages will make every reader want to run outside and discover their very own little cloud.

As minimalist as the text, these images may well inspire kids to cast more creative glances at the sky. (Publishers Weekly)

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Overview

The clouds drift across the bright blue sky-all except one. Little Cloud trails behind. He is busy changing shapes to become a fluffy sheep, a zooming airplane, and even a clown with a funny hat. Eric Carle's trademark collages will make every reader want to run outside and discover their very own little cloud.

As minimalist as the text, these images may well inspire kids to cast more creative glances at the sky. (Publishers Weekly)

A little cloud becomes all sorts of things--sheep, an airplane, trees, a hat--before joining other clouds and raining.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A minor addition to Carle's lengthy list of child-captivating titles, this lean tale introduces a cloud that changes itself into a handful of shapes. Calling upon memories of objects it has seen, Little Cloud becomes a plane, a shark, trees, a rabbit and a clown before rejoining its peers. At this point they do what clouds are apt to do when they get together: "Then all the clouds changed into one big cloud and rained!" Popping out from a textured background of rich turquoise, Carle's luminous collage art features broad, swirling strokes reminiscent of fingerpainting. As minimalist as the text, these images may well inspire kids to cast more creative glances at the sky. Although the conceit is imaginative, the execution lacks the inventiveness and extra sparkle of such Carle classics as the "Very" quartet. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Have you every lain back on the grass, looking at clouds and deciphering their shapes in your imagination? Eric Carle, with his simplistic illustrations, has done just that in this board book. As the clouds go by, Little Cloud trails behind, touching the tops of trees, transforming himself into a sheep, airplane, hat, and the like. Finally he rejoins the other clouds, ending the cloud journey with rain. Blues, greens, and whites are predominately featured in the full-page illustrations. 1998 (orig.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A familiar story line involving the whimsical world of ever-changing shapes in the sky. Little Cloud drifts away from his wispy friends and entertains himself by changing into a variety of forms-a lamb, an airplane, a shark, a clown, etc.-before joining the others to form one big cloud that rains. Charles Shaw's It Looked Like Spilt Milk (HarperCollins, 1947) explores a similar theme. While the concept is not unique, the style is definitely Carle's own. His trademark painted cut-paper collages are eye-catching and appealing. Children will enjoy the simple text and the colorful illustrations.-Kathy Mitchell, Gadsden Co. Public Library, Quincy, FL
Ilene Cooper
Carle, who has been writing and illustrating pictures books for almost 40 years, proves that his touch is as sure as ever in this book about a cloud and the shapes it takes on. The format is simplicity itself. Against a heavenly blue background, a little cloud transforms itself. In one spread it turns into a sheep, in another a shark, in a third a rabbit. It even becomes a clown's hat, and then the whole clown. When it joins up with the other clouds, they turn dark together, and then it begins to rain. The oversize format features textured collage cloud shapes that take up almost the whole spread. With only one line of text per spread and such easy-to-see pictures, this qualifies as a perfect story hour choice--and segues nicely into a trip outside to look up at the sky.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698118300
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 49,544
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Carle
Eric Carle
Children learn about the natural world in Eric Carle's original, charming books, which include classics such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. Carle's vivid tissue-paper illustrations and innovations in book design have made him an author whose longevity and continued popularity are testaments to his beloved status among young readers and parents.

Biography

Ever since he began innovating the look and function of children's stories in the late 1960s, Eric Carle has remained an author whose stories reliably hit the bestseller lists and remain on kids' bookshelves through generations.

He began as a designer of promotions and ads, and one illustration of a red lobster helped jump-start his career. The lobster caught the eye of author Bill Martin, Jr.; Martin asked Carle to illustrate the now-classic 1967 title Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and a career was born.

Born in Syracuse, New York but brought by his immigrant parents back to Germany when he was six, Carle was educated in Stuttgart and designed posters for the United States Information Center there after graduating from art school. He finally returned to the country he missed so much as a child in 1952.

He eventually began procuring work on children's titles, and found himself becoming increasingly involved in them. "I felt something of my own past stirring in me," he wrote in a 2000 essay. "An unresolved part of my own education needed reworking, and I began to make books -- books for myself, books for the child in me, books I had yearned for. I became my own teacher -- but this time an understanding one."

He began his career with the 1968 title 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo; but his next title, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is what still endears him to young readers today. Employing his bright, collage style and lending an immediacy to the tale by manifesting the caterpillar's hunger in actual holes in the pages, Carle began what would be a long career of creative approaches to simple stories. From the chirp emerging from The Very Quiet Cricket to the delightful fold-out pages in Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, Carle's books provide surprises that make his stories come alive in ways that many titles for preschoolers do not.

Carle's style, with its diaphanous, busy and bold artwork, is perfect for engaging new readers. His stories are also popular with parents and educators for their introductions to the natural world and its cycles. It's a particular pleasure to follow Carle into different corners of the world and see what can be learned from the creatures who live in them.

Good To Know

Regularly asked where he gets his ideas, Carle is quoted on his publisher's web site as responding: "Of course, the question of where ideas come from is the most difficult of all. Some people like to say they get ideas when they're in the shower. That's always a very entertaining answer, but I think it's much deeper than that. It goes back to your upbringing, your education, and so forth." He does say, however, that the idea for The Very Hungry Caterpillar came when he whimsically began punching holes in some paper, which suggested to him a bookworm at work. His editor later suggested he change the bookworm to a caterpillar, and the rest is history.

Carle was unhappy to be in Germany when his immigrant parents brought him back there as a child. He hated his new school and wanted to go back to America. He said: "When it became apparent that we would not return, I decided that I would become a bridge builder. I would build a bridge from Germany to America and take my beloved German grandmother by the hand across the wide ocean."

Before he became a freelance illustrator and began working on children's books, Carle worked as a graphic designer for the New York Times and as art director of an ad agency.

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    1. Hometown:
      Northampton, Massachusetts and the Berkshires
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 25, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      Syracuse, New York
    1. Education:
      Akademie der bildenden Künste, Stuttgart, 1946-50
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2000

    Read Books to Your Child for Bonding and Intellect!

    Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, you child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute. To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. Little Cloud was one of her picks. Little Cloud decides to travel to see what is on the other side of the mountain. Little Cloud's friends are concerned for his safety. He may get lost. Little Cloud floats away anyway. He runs into the eye of Mean Mountain who tells him to go away. Little Cloud floated past him because Little Cloud was not afraid. On the other side he found a valley where everything was drying up. A tree asked for some rain, but Little Cloud was too small to help. Little Cloud learned that Mean Mountain kept all of the clouds away. Little Cloud decided to help. He grabbed a ride on a airplane's tail until he got over the ocean. There he found lots of clouds, and told them about the valley and Mean Mountain. They filled up with water and went to Mean Mountain who tossed rocks at them. Little Cloud let out a bolt of lightning that knocked off Mean Mountain's nose, and the clouds went on to rain on the valley. Little Cloud stayed there from then on and lived happily, becoming a bigger cloud. The book encourages a sense of healthy adventure in a child. One should not be concerned about vague fears, but go to find out for yourself. The book also suggests that others may need your help. As a child, you may not be able to do much alone, but by talking with others you may be able to gather additional allies who can make a difference. Mean Mountain is the archetypal bully, all bluff and bluster with little substance. You can talk about how to handle bullies in the context of this story with your child. Finally, the book also develops the theme of satisfactions from helping others. This can help a child begin to thing about her or his purpose in life. Please use this book to discuss issues that you think your child may be concerned about, such as separation from you and your family. You'll be glad you addressed these fears before they grow to be too large for your child.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2010

    Another great creation by Eric Carle

    Eric Carle never disappoints us! He has the most beautifully simple illustrations and stories. They are easily understood by children and deeply pondered by adults. In my opinion, he is magical, multi-talented, and ingenious in his approach to writing and illustrating children's books. This one is very sweet!

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Toddler science.

    The story was not as engaging as I thought it would be, however, there is a little science lesson for young children. I feel that taking the story outside to study real clouds helps spark the imagination about what little children SEE when they look at clouds.

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