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High in the Clouds Paperback – October 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Faber Children's Books (October 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571225020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571225026
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4–McCartney joins the ranks of celebrity authors with his first childrens book. Wirral the squirrel sets off to find Animalia, a tropical animal sanctuary. He knows of it from his mother, who is crushed to death when bulldozers begin mowing down the Woodland. With her dying breath, she urges him to find the fabled island. His quest takes him to Megatropolis, a loud, polluted city, where he sees animals imprisoned in factories and learns of a plot to destroy Animalia. With the help of his friends Froggo and Wilhamina, Wirral finds the island and leads the animals of the Woodland and Megatropolis to a happy, if predictable, end. Ardaghs writing style and humor are evident, although some of the jokes fall flat. The cartoon illustrations resemble animation cels reduced to fit the books pages, with the result that occasionally Wirral and his friends become lost in the surrounding scenery. Due to its length and vocabulary, the book will appeal to children who are ready for long read-alouds or beginning chapter books.–Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"'Young audiences will delight in the clever wordplay and smartly - drawn comic characters.' Independent"

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Customer Reviews

My seven year old daughter and I purchased the book yesterday.
Gertrude
I thought it was full of oversimplifications, that the characters weren't well developed, and things happened in the book because it was convenient for them to happen.
Bonnie Svitavsky
I read the story before I gave the gift and it's a very cute story with beautiful illustrations.
Mary A Charles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Gertrude on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's not going to be made into a movie anytime soon...nor do I think it will spurn a "tele" series. But I do hope Sir Paul keeps writing both songs and books.

My seven year old daughter and I purchased the book yesterday. We read it last night.

I worried since it is a picture book it might be too young for her...

Sorry Paul, I underestimated your power. She was enthralled.

The book is a great adventure...within a few pages we were drawn into it... almost immediately after meeting Wirral, the main character... he is thrust into the adult world by the sudden loss of a loved one. Wirral trying to fulfill the last wishes of his dead loved one begins a journey to find the magical world Animalia that he has been told exists only in fairy tales until his loved one tells him on her deathbed... Animalia is real!

Around the world he goes...squirrel on the run, meeting friends and discovering the world... running up trees and saving girls...protecting the planet...one small squirrel step at a time.

The drawings are wonderful and sweet.

It is Paul McCartney after all.

What else would one expect from one who constantly may be amazes me!
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Who doesn't root for the good guys and love to see them win? Such a scenario becomes irresistible when presented by the talented trio of Paul McCartney, Geoff Dunbar, and Philip Ardagh. We understand that seeds for this book were planted when McCartney and Dunbar worked together on a film. Whatever the genesis, "High In The Clouds" is a sure winner.

Our hero is Wirral, a happy squirrel who lives in Woodland and delights in listening to his mother's stories. Mom is Sugartail, an enchanting storyteller who captivates creatures with her words. Even Froggo listens, popping in from time to time in his hot-air balloon. Yes, life couldn't get much better for Wirral decides as he glances at nearby Megatropolis, a big ugly city. Woodland is Eden to him.

Unfortunately there's trouble in Eden when Gretsch annexes Woodland and dispatches bulldozers "a nightmare of noise and destruction." The animals run in all directions, trying to escape the holocaust. Sadly, Sugartail is pinned beneath a huge tree. Her last words to Wirral are that he must find Animalia, a sanctuary where all the animals can live in freedom and safety.

A disconsolate Wirral doesn't know what to do, so he heads for Megatropolis. It is there that he meets and befriends Wilhamina, a feisty red squirrel and Ratsy, a rodent (of course) who knows his way around city streets. He even meets the evil Gretsch who destroyed his beloved Woodlands.

Out of his despair comes a plan - Wirral determines to save all animals. But, how can this be done? Therein lies this touching, adventure filled tale.

- Gail Cooke
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Alan Rockman on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Paul McCartney is no stranger to the world of Childrens Literature, but with "High in the Clouds" he has outshone his past efforts with a work that combines his love of animals and children into a breathtaking, very readable - even to the very young elementary (though not pre-school) reader. The great humanitarian and musician's (how often will we keep saying "former Beatles'"?) appreciation of animals and the warm, colorful illustrations will be a sure winner with children of all ages this holiday season.

There's even a touch of "The Yellow Submarine" towards the end of the book as Wirral Squirrel gathers a wonderous and colorful armada to succor his fellow creatures.

Sir Paul may be approaching "64" but he is still a child at heart.

Sure hope Sir Paul will do more book signings - I'd love a signed copy of this book.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Svitavsky on December 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ooo, I feel badly for reviewing this book this way, but... I really wasn't that impressed with High in the Clouds. I thought it was full of oversimplifications, that the characters weren't well developed, and things happened in the book because it was convenient for them to happen. From the start, I was put off - for example, Wirral's mother is killed when the bulldozers destroy the Woodland. However, amidst the mayhem and carnage, Wirral is able to get his father's old raft, put his mother on it, and then decorate it with piles of flowers? And even as this is going on, the forest is still being destroyed, with branches falling around him and others begging him to leave? Not only is the story muddled, but the artwork doesn't represent this at all.

I felt that the personalities of the characters were very much stereotyped. While the narrative has some fun asides, they often seemed to leave children out of the loop. It seems that no one settled on a particular writing style for the entire story. I really wish that more detail and revision had been put into this story - lots of the characters are very interesting, but we learn so little about them. For example, what are some of the 101 reasons that Alfredo the flea hates Gretsch? Why does Froggo have a wooden leg? And why on earth would the animals leave their children with Gretsch as a babysitter?

I really did want to enjoy this book, but I felt that it was incomplete.
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