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Eoin Colfer, New York Times best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl series, pens a warm, empathy-building story based on illustrator Chris Judge’s family’s experience with childhood illness.
Six-year-old Erin’s favorite game is spotting animals in the clouds with her mom and dad—everything from fluffy foxes and polar bears to little rabbits. Even when Erin falls very ill and has to spend a long time in the hospital, she still manages to find joy in spying “cloud babies” through the window with her new hospital friends. When the doctor tells Erin she can go home, she is so excited! But being back at school is not at all what she expected—so much has changed, and Erin must reconcile the safe realm she’s just left with a world outside that has become unfamiliar. With Mom and Dad’s love and wisdom, however, and with the help of her teacher and friends, Erin comes to see that by sharing her experience she can find happiness again in just being herself. Sensitively told and vibrantly brought to life, Cloud Babies brings recognition and comfort to children facing illness or hardship, as well as guidance to those who wish to offer support but may not know where to start.
About the Author
Eoin Colfer is the best-selling author of the children’s fantasy series Artemis Fowl. His other notable works include The Dog Who Lost His Bark, illustrated by P.J. Lynch, and the novels Half Moon Investigations, Airman, and The Supernaturalist. The recipient of many awards, he lives in Ireland.
Chris Judge is the illustrator of The First Christmas Sweater (and the Sheep Who Changed Everything) by Ryan Tubridy and the Danger Is Everywhere series by David O’Doherty. He is also the author-illustrator of The Lonely Beast, The Brave Beast, and The Snow Beast. Chris Judge lives in Dublin.
Colfer’s clear, gentle text will resonate with kids experiencing chronic illness and their parents alike as he explores the complexity of feeling alternately accepted by and different from peers. Emphasizing the interplay of imagination and reality, Judge’s bright illustrations mingle expressive cartoon figures and realistic backgrounds. . . . A perceptive embrace of imagination and empathy.
As cheery on-the-ground scenes lean into home, hospital, and school backgrounds, Colfer’s lengthy, play-by-play text brims with empathy, affirming that imagination can be powerful medicine.
Inspired by the illustrator’s family’s experiences of childhood illness, the story is matter-of-fact, informative, and remarkably upbeat. . . . Colfer’s introduction offers practical advice for young patients and their classmates. A heartening, helpful picture book.
Inspired by the illustrator’s family experience with illness, this reassuring tale will be useful for children in similar straits as well as for classmates who need to strengthen their empathy skills to welcome and support classmates returning from such absences. . . . Whimsical illustrations capturing cloud babies will help all readers connect with this story and encourage cloud gazers to find imaginative creatures in the skies above and room in their hearts for the struggles of other children.
—School Library Journal