The Police Cloud

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Overview

In this funny and tender picture book for the youngest child, a fluffy cloud gets a job (with the help of his friend the police helicopter) as a police officer. But no matter how hard he tries, the qualities that make him a cloud seem to get in the way of his duties. He blocks the sun at the park instead of helping people and obscures traffic at an intersection instead of directing it. Upset, the cloud starts to cry. And it's his streaming tears—which inadvertently put out a fire in a burning building—that lead ...
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Overview

In this funny and tender picture book for the youngest child, a fluffy cloud gets a job (with the help of his friend the police helicopter) as a police officer. But no matter how hard he tries, the qualities that make him a cloud seem to get in the way of his duties. He blocks the sun at the park instead of helping people and obscures traffic at an intersection instead of directing it. Upset, the cloud starts to cry. And it's his streaming tears—which inadvertently put out a fire in a burning building—that lead him to his true calling in life: as a firefighter!
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Graphic illustrator Niemann, a New Yorkercover artist, makes his picture book debut with an amiable story of a civic-minded cloud. The unnamed, roundish cloud wants a useful career in law enforcement, and convinces a police chief to let him join the force. But problems arise after the floaty white puff dons his official blue cap. When he assists some officers apprehending a robber, he shrouds them in a haze and the perp escapes. Directing traffic at a busy intersection "didn't go well, either." Even on summer park patrol, the cloud casts an unwelcome shadow on law-abiding sunbathers (and an angry dog and duck). Disappointed, "he began to cry." To his surprise, this inborn ability to rain makes him invaluable to anotherpublic department, one that wears shiny red hats and drives shiny red trucks. Niemann's crisp digital art complements the simplicity and mild silliness of his story, which takes place in a generic city of blocky, uniform high-rises. The cloud's shape-shifting ability is not developed much, but his open features convey friendliness, and he finds a cooperative job that suits him fine. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Every little boy's dream of becoming a policeman is given a delightful twist in the first picture book by New Yorker illustrator Christopher Niemann. The hero of the story is a cloud who has wanted to be a policeman "ever since he had been a small puff." With a little help from a friend, the cloud gets his police cap. But the truth is, a cloud has certain characteristics that interfere with police work; when he joins other policemen in chasing down a bad guy, his cloudiness makes it difficult for the others to see. So, too, as a traffic cloud, drivers cannot see who else is in the intersection. When the cloud realizes that he is not cut out to be a policeman, he cannot stop his tears. But that leads to the silver lining—though he is not suited to be a policeman, the fire chief eagerly offers him a job in his department. The illustrations have a clean graphic feel; though he has no more than round eyes and nose and mouth, the cloud's face is wonderfully expressive. There is plenty of reason to read this book again and again. It offers a great launch into a discussion of how important it is to think through how well one's talents match one's dreams.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1
Ever since he was a small puff, the cloud had wanted to be a police officer. Sound familiar? Children with similar aspirations will find a somewhat fluffy hero to which they can relate as they witness his adventures and misadventures while on patrol. When the cloud tries to stop a bank robber, for instance, the bad guy walks right through him and escapes. He tries to direct traffic, but the drivers can't see-too foggy. And nobody wants him to patrol the park: he blocks the sun. These droll situations evoke sympathy and smiles. Realizing that he's a flop as a cop, the cloud floats into despair. When he begins to cry, he unwittingly puts out a blazing building with his tears, suggesting an eminently suitable new line of work and resulting in a happy ending. Niemann hits the ground running with his first picture book. His situations are easy to understand, his narrative logical. The main character is so very likable, partly a result of the gentle dialogue and the enticing computer-generated artwork. The artist has a genius for design, combining sweetly old-fashioned cartoon images with contemporary bold colors and shapes. The book's layout couldn't be more arresting. This endearing offering is sure to rise swiftly on the storytime hit parade.
—Susan WeitzCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Following in the footsteps of New Yorker colleagues Ian Falconer and Maira Kalman (the latter is depicted on the back dust jacket with an endorsement), magazine illustrator Niemann successfully turns his attention to the picture storybook. His energetic, graphic-style, computer artwork seems ideally suited to this streamlined story set in the big city. Supported by a personified pal named "police helicopter," a small cloud gets his life-long wish and becomes a police officer. After a few disappointing missteps (he's a disaster at directing traffic), the soft, blue-eyed puff finds a better venue for his watery talents as a firefighter. The double-page spreads dominated by geometric forms and patterns display a snazzy sense of color and composition in pictures that support a tale that sounds rather odd but is actually satisfying. Appealing in its simplicity and whimsy, this is a boffo addition to community-helper and weather-related storytimes. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375939631
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/13/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Library Edition
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.59 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Christoph Niemann's illustrations have frequently appeared on the cover of the New Yorker, and have also graced the pages of the New York Times and Atlantic Monthly. The Police Cloud is Niemann's first picture book. He lives in Berlin.

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Customer Reviews

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