The Cloud ISBN: 9781846433436
Published by Child's Play (International) Ltd, 2010
This picture book about loneliness, shyness and - possibly- a form of childhood depression, shows us a child who seems always to have a dark cloud hanging over her. She doesn't participate in the art class where everyone else is enjoying drawing, and when another child goes over and tries to make friends, she is rebuffed. The other little girl is a real try-er, though and refuses to give up. Over and over again she suggests that the two girls share in drawing a picture. The first attempts are not great, one half of the picture being cheery and happy and the other half a scribble of black that is equal to the cloud over the unhappy child. The reason for this unhappiness is never given, but it is possible that she is in a new school situation and can't handle it. When the two girls finally succeed in drawing a proper picture together, our unhappy one actually smiles and the cloud begins to get smaller and smaller; soon we see that all the children are sharing in drawing one big picture. The book has a subtle message, greatly enhanced by the illustrations, and in the end we see that sharing is a great way of helping new people feel part of the group. The very last page has a new child appearing at the school gate with a tiny black cloud over his head, and we hope he will find an equal welcome. A lovely story.