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The Cloud Spinner Hardcover – March 13, 2012


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The Cloud Spinner + The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore + The Day the Crayons Quit
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The Best Books of 2012
Best Books of 2012 This book has been selected by our editors as one of the Best Picture Books of 2012.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375870113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375870118
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, March 2012: Fine clothes spun from white, gold, and crimson clouds are as beautiful as you might imagine thanks to illustrator Alison Jay. There is a bit of The Lorax feel to Michael Catchpool’s elegant text, and the young spinner reminds me a bit of the boy who called out the king in The Emperor's New Clothes. Jay’s signature style adds a treasure trove of details to the pages of The Cloud Spinner, yielding new discoveries with every read (and there will be many). Adults are likely to appreciate the conservation theme, while kids are sure to notice it’s the wisdom of children that ultimately gives rise to change. --Seira Wilson

Review

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2012:
“There are definitely lessons about taking only what you need, about care for the needs of others and about listening to what is unsaid, but they are fully inside the story and only add to the pleasure.”


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful illustrations and great story.
Hawkeye Mom
A great lesson in only taking what you need and not being greedy.
momma lea
My five year old loves this book....and so do I!
L. Ahearn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Schonbek on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book resonates with ethereal and otherworldly beauty while delivering an important message.

It begins, "There was once a boy who could weave cloth from the clouds. He had a spinning wheel and a loom on top of a hill. As the clouds p[assed, with a whir of the wheel, he would spin them into thread; gold in the morning with the rising sun, white in the afternoon,and crimson in the evening".

The boy, taught well by his mother, "Enough is enough and not one stitch more", is a paragon of quiet wisdom. In this timeless tale he encounters a vain and boastful king whose greed disrupts the balance of everything. The intervention of a brave, resourceful princess rescues the kingdom from impending disaster.

She does so by asking the urgent question, "Is it too late to undo what has been done?"

Masterful illustration by Alison Jay complements the text in weaving this magical modern parable.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Penguin on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have purchased numerous Caldecott and Newbery award winning books and this one ranks up there with the best of them. Noted illustrator Alison Jay is at the top of her game with this beautiful book. Micheal Catchpool's story is whimsical and heartfelt with an important life lesson to tell. Short enough to keep the little one's attention, but long enough to tell a beautiful story. I bought this along with other beautiful stories like "Plant a Kiss," "Interrupting Chicken," "A Sick Day for Amos MGee," "Boy+Bot" and several Fancy Nancy books - all wonderful books - but the Cloud Spinner stood out among these classics. I highly recommend it!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By sassymom on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely children's story with beautiful illustrations and a wise, magical story about the fragile nature of our world and the wisdom needed to protect it.

Our little one loves this story-- the illustrations are detailed and the story provides plenty of memorable lines. Fantastic children's book that is modern but with the charm and pacing of a classic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jess on December 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book with absolutely lovely pictures and a nice little story about making amends for mistakes. It made a nice gift for a friend's toddler.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Inhabiting Books on October 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In this lovely, dreamy fable, a wise young boy spins clouds into cloth under the stricture "Enough is enough and not one stitch more." One day a greedy king spies his cloud-woven scarf and wants more, more, more, despite the young boy's warnings. When the king's greed dries up the clouds, it's up to the observant princess and the wise boy to set things right.

Released as Cloth from the Clouds in Britain, this story has a universal appeal for both boys and girls, and works beautifully for a read-aloud. Catchpool employs the stricture from the story, using just enough words to convey the story and "not one [word] more." Further, he understands the need for key (non-annoying) repetitive phases that keep the story anchored, and delivers his message of conservation in a gentle but effective manner. Brilliantly done.

The only book we've read previously by Michael Catchpool is his Where There's a Bear, There's Trouble!, which was (and still is) universally adored by all three of my girls as toddlers. (Susanna, at five, still loves it and I still see the older two pulling it out of the bookshelf to read themselves on occasion.)

Alison Jay's deceptively simple, gorgeous folk art illustrations pair perfectly with this story. The colors are so beautiful. My children delighted in the cloud shapes and the smiling hills. (See the one on the cover?) I have loved her art since I first saw it on the original hardcovers of Shannon Hale's Bayern series (
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By princess superstar on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A little boy can weave fantastic cloth from the clouds, drawing different colors from them at different times of the day. His mother has always taught him that "enough is enough, and not one stitch more", but he's ordered to weave more cloth by a greedy king, with dire consequences for the occupants of the kingdom. The princess helps him to make things right.

Truly a lovely story. It's one that I'll be picking off the shelf in hopes that my 4yo will want to hear it. He's asked for it multiple times already after just having it a day or two, so it seems to appeal to both adults and children. The messages are subtle and incorporated into the story, rather than feeling heavy handed, but give a great opening for talking about greed and being happy with enough.

As always, Alison Jay's illustrations are a treat. She always has so many exquisite little details that one can see new things after a dozen reads.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lisabu on April 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Enough is enough - you don't need to live in excess - is a message nearly everyone could stand to hear reiterated. I found the story a tiny bit stilted, but the images are simply beautiful and my 7-year old enjoys them also.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Yuroh Teshima on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I translated it into Japanese language for my granddaughters.
The parents and adults should learn the sensitivity of contentment and care for other people and the tenderness to the nature.
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