Lizzy and the Cloud
The Fan Brothers
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
The Fan Brothers set their story in a bygone era when zeppelins hovered above the row of shops and people rode penny farthing cycles.
Every Saturday Lizzy and her parents go walking in the park. Most of the children visiting make straight for the roundabout or the puppet show but not Lizzy: despite clouds being ‘a bit out of fashion’ in those days, she makes for the Cloud Seller. From him she buys not one of the fancy animal clouds on a string, but an ordinary cloud. This she names Milo. (Naming your cloud was the first instruction in the accompanying manual.).
Lizzy takes great care of her cloud, following the instructions, watering it daily, taking it for walks and allowing it to go soaring out of her window while she held the string firmly in her hand.
Over the months, Milo grows … and grows until one day it covers the whole ceiling.
There’s no instruction in the book to help fix the growing problem, then one night there’s a thunderstorm. It’s this that steers her towards a vital realisation: Milo has outgrown her room; she can’t contain him any longer: her cloud needs a bigger sky. Lizzy must do what is best for Milo and so she sets it free.
This beautiful meditation on letting go is brilliantly imagined and by blending the ordinary everyday with the extraordinary, the Fan Brothers deliver a truly original fable. It gently shows children that sometimes one needs to allow somebody (or something) you love to move on and that in time, those raw memories will become something sweet to be cherished always.
The delicate, dreamy illustrations in soft greys and browns with muted colours, are perfect for showing the alternative reality in which the tale unfolds. Whimsical and wonderful.
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