Not a Cloud in the Sky
Emma Quay, ABC Books
Not a Cloud in the Sky is a picture book about a guessing game, where a cloud becomes different shapes and a little bird has to say what they are.
Except it is more than that. For one thing, the artwork is amazing: the cloud is so “cloudlike” and the use of colour is incredible.
A quick look at one of the first pages lists the tools Emma uses to create her artwork, which include: wood panels, chalk pastels, a plastic straw, a champagne cork, a tooth brush, sponges and foam rollers. It would have been amazing to watch her create her book.
The characters are somewhat philosophical. When Bird can’t guess one of Cloud’s shapes, Cloud suggests that Bird fly over him. “Things look different if you see them if you see them from another point of view.”
Another aspect I liked about the characters is that they are so kind to each other. Cloud entertains his friend with his shape changing even though he becomes breathless. Bird shows concern about Cloud by asking if he is “alright” and if certain techniques hurt him.
Bird even pays Cloud the nicest compliment: “The night really suits you.”
Not a Cloud in the Sky is a great bedtime story, not only for the above reasons but also because the story ends with the night and Bird sleeping in the tree knowing that Cloud is there “in one way or another”.