Author: Colfer, Eoin
Six-year-old Erin's favorite game is spotting animals in the clouds--everything from fluffy foxes and polar bears to little rabbits. Even when she falls ill and spends a long time in the hospital, she manages to find joy in spying "cloud babies" through the window. She's excited to go home but being back at school is not what she expected. With her parent's love, however, and the help of her teacher and friends, she learns by sharing her experience she can find happiness again in being herself.
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/23)
School Library Journal (06/01/23)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2023 Erin loves to point out “cloud babies,” animals she sees within cloud formations. When she becomes ill and spends a long time at a children’s hospital, she enjoys playing the game with the other kids on her floor. Finally, she returns home and goes back to school, but when she tries to share the game with her classmates, it doesn’t go well. The kids seem older now. She stops playing cloud babies, though it makes her sad. Erin returns to the hospital periodically. When the class visits her there, they play the cloud-baby game with Erin and the other patients. Through the game and her classmates’ new understanding of her experiences, she can finally reconnect with them. Inspired by the illustrator’s family’s experiences of childhood illness, the story is matter-of-fact, informative, and remarkably upbeat. The digital art is appealing, and, in creating outdoor scenes, it incorporates photos of landscapes, clouds, and other elements into the pictures in a seamless way. Colfer’s introduction offers practical advice for young patients and their classmates. A heartening, helpful picture book. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2023 Gr 1–3—The subtitle says it all: when you are feeling low, looking up might be the best thing to do. Erin loves looking at the clouds and finding animal shapes. This game, which she calls "cloud babies," is shared with her mom and dad. When she becomes sick and needs to spend an extended period of time in the children's ward at the hospital, she shares the cloud babies game with other children as well as with her family. Her adjustment to life after the hospital is difficult, and Erin feels a need to "catch up" to her friends at school. Playing cloud babies is too juvenile for her schoolmates. The reconciliation between her two worlds and her conflicting needs is resolved by the story's end, with a visit by her schoolmates to the children's ward at the hospital. Inspired by the illustrator's family experience with illness, this reassuring tale will be useful for children in similar straits as well as for classmates who need to strengthen their empathy skills to welcome and support classmates returning from such absences. VERDICT Whimsical illustrations capturing cloud babies will help all readers connect with this story and encourage cloud gazers to find imaginative creatures in the skies above and room in their hearts for the struggles of other children.—John Scott - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.