By Michael Catchpool, illustrated by Alison Jay
Alfred A. Knopf, 2012, unpaged, picture book
Here is a story about conserving natural resources that is appealing and accessible to even the youngest audience. A little boy knows how to spin thread and weave cloth out of clouds. He uses his skill sparingly to make himself a simple scarf. The king sees the amazing scarf and orders the boy to make a first a scarf, and then a whole set of clothes for himself and his family. The boy warns the king that he is asking too much but the king will not be cautious. The boy must use up so many clouds to make the clothes that soon the kingdom is plagued with drought. Luckily the little princess is wiser than her father, and manages to find a way to return the clouds to the sky. Alison Jay’s whimsical folk art is a perfect match for the story. Jay adds delightful detail to every page that will reward the careful viewer again and again. Kate Greenaway Medal contender for next year? Maybe.