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Many children go through a stage of being shy and not wanting others to notice them. This might especially occur as they experience new places such as starting school. In ‘Kumo the Bashful Cloud’ by Toronto Ontario writer Kyo Maclear and Montreal Quebec illustrator Nathalie Dion, we follow along as dreamy, shy Kumo prefers to quietly observe life rather than actually take part in any activity.


Soft, shy little Kumo is happy to sit back and not get involved but eventually she is called upon to do what clouds are supposed to do. One day the other clouds are busy and Kumo is required to shade and shower the people and places below.



This causes worry. What if people stare and point, but she does her duty and floats along so low that she become caught in a tree. This disaster frightens her but a friendly kite and a strong breeze rescue her.



Kumo spends an eventful day seeing and experiencing the world. She sees a noisy city with tall buildings, a quiet lake, rolling fields that she sprinkles with rain and a tall mountain with an icy glacier.  She shelters a man planting petunias and visits a street party.


At the street party she attracts the attention of a small boy who is dreaming while looking at the clouds. In his mind Kumo is transformed into many shapes that make both Kumo and the boy happy. Kumo realizes that it is good to be seen and that she has a good job to do.


Finally meeting some cloud friends, she realizes that she can be happy even when other clouds are around.



When she and her new friend look down on the earth they see chalk drawings of the cloud shapes dreamt about by the boy. The clouds think the boy has left them love letters and are happy.



The spare and simple words by Kyo Mclear in this book are in harmony with Nathalie Dion’s soft, dreamy illustrations. The softly colored, sometimes barely visible face of Kumo will delight a shy child and the life of this shy cloud will make both adult and child readers want to spend some quiet time outside on the grass looking up at the clouds.



This book was published by Tundra books of Penguin Random House Canada. This very popular book is found in bookstores everywhere, and in Amazon at the link I have copied into the comment section below.