Written and illustrated in 1959 by two kindergarten teachers but not published until recently, this adorable book takes the reader on a trip around New Zealand with a little cloud who just wants to learn how to rain.
Tucked away in the corner of a large grey storm cloud, the little white cloud yearns to be alone. After a storm rages over Wellington for three days and two nights, the little cloud gets his wish.
He was fluffy.
He was white.
He was free.
Now the little cloud has to learn how to be a cloud, like coping with the wind, and noticing his colour changing as the sun goes down. When he wakes the next morning he knows it’s time to learn how to rain, but first the wind picks him up and takes him all over the country.
He ends up floating over Taupo where he notices the dried up grass around the lake and the empty water tanks. He is tired of playing and wants to learn how to rain, but he doesn’t know how. This makes the little cloud sad, and when tears start running down his fluffy cheeks he begins to rain – and rain and rain. When the land is no longer dry he becomes happy again and he stops raining and begins to play.
Not watching where he’s going sees him land on top of Mount Taranaki, where stays for a rest, smiling because at last he knew how to rain.
This book may have been written almost 60 years ago but the story is delightful and the illustrations are not showing any signs of age. It would be a great read-aloud book for younger children, and older children will enjoy the story and the thought of a cloud learning how to rain.
Reviewed by Faye Lougher
The Little Cloud
by Beverley Burch and Elspeth Nicol
Published by Makaro Press (Submarine)