Monday, 6 July 2015

The Cloudspotter

The Cloudspotter

By Tom McLaughlin 
Published by Bloomsbury

This is Tom McLaughlin's second picture book for Bloomsbury, his first being the magnificent The Story Machine. The Cloudspotter is another imaginative tale about a boy who would rather have adventures in the sky.

Meet Franklin, or as everyone else knows him, The Cloudspotter. Franklin doesn't have many friends, and instead of playing spends everyday with his head in the clouds. He spots big clouds, squeaky clouds, sneaky pretend-they-can't-see-you clouds and angry clouds. But The Cloudspotter doesn't just spot clouds, he has adventures in them!

Some of his adventures consisted of swimming with giant jellyfish, driving racing cars and being the KING OF THE CASTLE. However it all changes when a scruffy dog turns up. The Cloudspotter thinks the dog might be after his clouds and so he tries his best to avoid her. But everywhere The Cloudspotter goes the scruffy dog goes too. 

Enough is enough when the dog starts appearing in his cloud adventures and hatches a plan to get rid of her. And that plan takes the form of a hot air balloon, with the poor old scruffy dog being bundled into it! It's not long until The Cloudspotter starts to feel lonely and realises the scruffy dog wasn't actually after his clouds but was lonely like him too. Luckily the hot air balloon does get too far and the scruffy dog and The Cloudspotter are reunited, leaving them to have their adventures in the sky together.

This is a lovely book about friendship and learning how to share your interests with other people. The story isn't too dissimilar to Oliver Jeffers Lost and Found, but with Tom being Oliver's cousin I don't think he'll mind too much. The illustrations are classic McLaughlin, with the cloud spreads having a dreamy quality to them. A lovely story to accompany any rainy day this summer holiday. 

The Cloudspotter is available to buy now at all good bookshops and online at the Bloomsbury website.

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