The Cloud Spinner, written by Michael Catchpool and illustrated by Alison Jay, is one of those lyrical, beautiful books I only recently discovered and was surprised I hadn't heard of before. It's a story that reminds us that beauty is fragile and we must listen to our world and trust our instincts-- because if we don't, life as we know it could be altered significantly, and not necessarily for the better.
In The Cloud Spinner, a young boy has an incredible talent- he is able to weave cloth from the clouds. He utilizes his gift only to make a woven scarf to wear around his neck so he can stay warm. But one day the king sees the child's scarf and demands the boy make him some clothes... cloaks and gowns and more and more and more despite the boy's protests. As the boy begrudgingly obeys the king's commands, fewer clouds grace the sky- and soon the boy must discover how to protect his delicate world.
The Cloud Spinner is absolutely lovely, imparting so much wisdom without ever being didactic. Allison Jay's exquisite, cracked illustration style beautifully compliments prose that speaks to the fragility of the world around us. The Cloud Spinner reminds us that greed can befall even the best of us when we find something we love, but we must find ways to reign it in before it becomes our undoing. It shows even the littlest of kids how imperative it is to advocate for the protection of our resources and to find the courage to stand up for our beautiful earth when others seek to harm it. Two trunks up!
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