A cloud carries a delighted lad over a city and an amusement park, past kites and fireworks, then on to dreams.
A fearless climber since toddlerdom, young Sora (Japanese for “Sky”) takes on a tree one day and finds a smiling, pink-cheeked cloud in the branches. Clambering aboard, he floats over streets and other sights before drifting off to sleep—dreaming of puddles as the cloud floats through a rain shower and of digging in sand after a seagull’s cry—and then gently coming back to Earth. Adding Japanese decorations to kites and other details, plus occasional touches of subtle humor (when Sora looks down at a busy playground his “Look! Ants!” is not a figure of speech), Hoshino illustrates this idyll with delicately colored paper-collage and paint scenes featuring semitransparent figures in harmonious compositions. Likewise, her poetic narrative (“From way, waaay, waaaay up in the sky, / fireworks whisper like the soft pitter-pattering of your heart”) is not only paralleled by a Japanese translation but extended by Japanese exclamations in the pictures and explanatory notes at the end.
An airy flight of imagination, bi-cultural as well as bilingual. (Picture book. 6-8)