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Cloud Forest5/5

Cloud Forest

Victoria Turnbull

Review

Cloud Forest is a powerful, moving and important picture book on the themes of love and loss and the potential of memories and stories to help us through.

In a magical dream-like landscape, a nameless child listens to Umpa weave words into stories, and stories into adventures. Travelling on trails of clouds and paper cranes, Umpa and child travel as far as their imaginations will take them. Until, one day, Umpa is no longer there, and the child must learn to carry the stories in its own heart.

The timeless artwork of this book places Cloud Forest within the long-standing tradition of thoughtful, meditative tales meant to be savoured as treasures for generations. Suitable for the very youngest book lovers, but also with much to offer readers of any age, this is not 'just' a book for children. The wonderfully detailed illustrations are reminiscent of Maurice Sendack at his best, and the recurring surreal motives which drift throughout the pages are suggestive of Anthony Browne at his most whimsical.

Evocative, heartfelt and warm, Cloud Forest is an outstanding achievement from a relatively new author and a treat for the senses - very highly recommended.

Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Carol Carter, school librarian

Reviewed by: Carol Carter


Cloud Forest5/5

Cloud Forest

Victoria Turnbull

Review

This is a beautifully illustrated book that softly and sensitively deals with love and loss, and the memories that keep loved ones alive in our hearts.

Umpa has a garden full of treasure and the child loves spending time there! Umpa is clearly old and wise for he shares important advice with the child. Wise words, 'Stories make everything grow', take the child to new places. Learning to read and follow the words goes over the trees, and out to sea. Dreams allow the seeds to grow and Umpa and the child search for castles in the clouds.

Until, one day, Umpa is no longer there and the grief-stricken child is lost in the clouds. He could no longer dream, see the stars or search for castles. Then a memory sparks and the child finds the book and follows the path of the words.....

The illustrations are magical and the language is simple but incredibly effective. A perfect book to share with children suffering a loss in their family. It would make an excellent book to read aloud just to enjoy the power of the pictures and the joy of the words.

Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Erin Hamilton, school librarian

Reviewed by: Erin Hamilton