|Image from HMHBooks.com|
Known for his beautiful and creative wordless books, Wiesner’s style is in fine form in this imaginative Caldecott Honor book. His watercolor illustrations are cinematic and atmospheric; you can almost hear the sounds of wind rushing past your face. The illustrations fill the pages from corner to corner in amazing detail and depth.Some illustrations are full page, while others are split into panels of various sizes. Although there isn’t any spoken dialogue, looking at the facial expressions of the humans and clouds is like watching a silent film, you can figure out what’s going on even without dialogue cards.
Use this for a storytime or unit about weather or clouds. Try pairing this book with All the Water in the World or Thunder Cake. After you read the book, look at the illustration that shows the departure and arrival times of different kinds of clouds. Discuss the different types of clouds on the list: cirrus, cumulonimbus, cumulus, etc. Find pictures of each type of cloud to compare and contrast. Unroll a long piece of butcher paper and have the kids draw a cross section of the sky that shows the altitude of each type of cloud.
Look at the globe that’s marked with the different sectors in the book. Is your location shown on the globe? Can you figure out what sector you live in? If your location is not on the globe, see if you can guesstimate the sector. Have the kids design the cloud station for their sector.
For a simple, no frills craft have kids draw their own cloud designs. Help them write the reasons for their choices on the paper. You can also give kids cotton balls, dough or clay and let them sculpt their own clouds. If your looking for a messier craft (and what kid doesn’t like a messy craft?), try these colorful cloud jars as posted by Holly. While you’ve got the shaving cream out, try some shaving cream painting. I haven’t tried this one, but I’m completely fascinated by the idea of making a soap cloud by putting a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave and watching it expand into a cloud!
If you enjoy this wonderfully inventive and imaginative book, check out Wiesner’s other books.