The Picture Book Month theme today was imagination, so I read The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool and illustrated by Alison Jay. Her unique syle is created by applying a crackle varnish over alkyd paint on thick cartridge paper, giving her illustrations an aged effect. The Cloud Spinner is about a boy who can spin clouds into thread. He only spins what he needs, two scarves, until the greedy king demands clothes for himself and his court. Despite the boy's reluctance and warnings, he gives the king what he wants and uses up all the clouds, causing great suffering in the town. Luckily, the simple princess takes things into her own hands and hope is restored.
We enjoyed this artist's creativity and interpretation of the story. Here are my students' comments:
"The pictures are awesome. I love the crackling effect. Without it, they wouldn't be the same."
"This is an imaginative book. I liked it."
"I liked the description of the scarves. I also like the pictures and how they are cracked."
"I like this book becasue the illustrator used a very different technique."
"I love how the illustratings have a texture from crackle."
"I liked the life lesson."
"The theme is Take only memories, leave only footprints."
"The theme is Don't be greedy."
"The theme is Use only what you need."
"It's like the Boy Scout motto Leave no trace."
"The pictures were like really old pictures."
"I liked the pictures because the mountains looked like they had faces on them. Some of the people looked funny but I really liked the way she made the pictures look cracked."
"I really like this book becasue it teaches you not to be greedy."
"The theme of this book is like a chain reaction. When you take something, everything suffers."