Hall continues her Compare and Contrast series (Polar Bears and Penguins, 2014) with a brief look at the many ways clouds are different from one another.
Seven sentences are split among 14 spreads, each highlighting a single aspect of clouds and featuring gorgeous photographs of skies. “Some clouds tell us a storm is coming; // or that a storm has passed.” With the page turn, black skies over a turquoise ocean give way to white, fluffy clouds over a bright green, rain-washed field, a rainbow arching down. Other opposites include big and fluffy/thin and wispy, colorful/dark, filling the sky/none at all, on the ground/high up, swirl/blanket. A “For Creative Minds” section in the backmatter allows kids to explore the water cycle with some hands-on activities that demonstrate evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Another spread encourages children to learn the four different categories of clouds (and what weather each predicts) and test their understanding with a matching activity. An age range for this title is difficult to pin down: Readers who will appreciate the very simple text will not be able to handle the advanced information presented in the backmatter—“Clouds are collections of small water droplets or ice crystals floating in the atmosphere”—and those who are ready to distinguish cloud types and explore the water cycle will not be captivated by the text.
Rather than this one-size-fits-none book, choose one that suits the age and developmental level of a specific intended audience. (Nonfiction. 4-7)