Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MY HEAD IN THE CLOUDS by Danielle  Chaperon


by Danielle Chaperon ; illustrated by Josée Bisaillon ; translated by Sophie B. Watson

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4598-2178-1
Publisher: Orca

A child embarks on an imaginary international journey, using many conveyances, in recalling all the items lost on previous trips.

The text, originally French, is in four-line stanzas, mostly in an aabb rhyming pattern, that are occasionally awkward in English: “In the deep, black waters of Loch Ness, / my mind wandered off and I forgot my address! / When I saw a yeti trying to get a fishy bite, / my stomach floated off and I lost my appetite.” In the accompanying spread, the child helms a yellow submarine, a green Nessie swims nearby, and a large white creature on a boat tries to grab fish with a net. Two fish have some writing on their bodies: the forgotten address? Happily, there appears to be no image of the stomach or the appetite that has floated off. Although the last page, with its short list of facts about some places mentioned, instructs readers to look for the lost items, some ephemeral items seem impossible to find. Concrete objects can be found with close looking: a jacket at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, a scarf around the neck of the Statue of Liberty, both mentioned in the accompanying text. Some items are more metaphorical. Can readers “find my mind” as the girl requests, when she ventures into outer space? Although the whimsical multimedia illustrations are often engaging, this world journey offers little engagement with people and a very cursory view of iconic sights.

This is one journey to skip.

(Picture book. 5-7)