Kumo: The Bashful Cloud

Tundra. Sept. 2022. 64p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780735267282.
PreS-Gr 1–Kumo, a little cloud, is very shy and fears being seen making a mistake. But after many years of drifting quietly in the background, she is asked to take over cloud duties for a day. She gathers her courage and does her duty. She travels over cities and fields, shades those needing rest and sprinkles rain drops where necessary. She helps a shy child to see wonder in the sky, and makes friends—many cloud friends—who together can fill the sky. A lovely, quiet work, this will resonate with young children who themselves may find the world a bit frightening. There are good lessons to be learned here about courage, fortitude, and friendship. The soft watercolor illustrations are soothing and comforting. An excellent SEL read-aloud to help children understand their own reticence about being seen, this story also shows the many ways they can be present, as individuals or part of a group.
VERDICT A quiet book with a resonating message for children who may be afraid to stand out.

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