Monday, April 2, 2007

The Clouds Above

The Clouds Above, by Jordan Crain; Fantagraphics

I was skeptical about this book at first. One panel per page and a hefty price tag made me think twice about buying it, but the usually reliable clerk at my local comic shop talked me into it. Thank goodness for the pusher man!

This is a totally engaging story about a boy, his cat, a cloud, and some birds. Okay, so maybe it doesn’t sound that exciting, but that’s what’s so magical about this story – it’s a great testament to the power of imagination. Simon and his talking cat, Jack, are late to class again, so rather than chance it with the teacher, they head for the roof. There they find a stairway that leads up into the sky and adventure among the clouds. It’s the kind of thing Sarah would make up while playing with her stuffed animals – Jordan Crane remembers what it’s like to be seven.

The art is completely charming, with an unusual color palette that really works for the story, and the production quality of the book is beautiful. The Clouds Above has earned a permanent spot on the coffee table and has been and read over and over again. Buy this for all the kids you know and tell them to share it with their parents.

Sarah says: I like that the artist made pink clouds. And I like how he made the speak bubble for the cloud all puffy like a cloud. I like how the author said the cloud wasn’t crying, it was raining. It made it easy to read when there was only one picture on each page because you know what comes next. And it organizes the book. I read it four times already! This book is good for everyone!

Shelby says: I will start off with things that I like about this book. First, I like how the good clouds are pink and the bad clouds are dark blue and green. I also like how you can see the view of everything when you are up on the clouds. Also, when they land in the water and how their hair is all wet and scraggly. On the inside of the back cover there is a bunch of yellow birds flying away – it looks cool. The story is good because the cloud wants to help Simon and Jack. I think it’s a good book for everybody because the art is good and there’s a lot of imagination in it.


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