Curiosity about the flowers and animals, cars and buildings far below prompts the lonely Cloud Princess to descend for a closer look.
Leading off with a lenticular cover that adds 3-D layers to the princess’s luxuriant flows of white curls, the illustrations outshine the cursory plotline. Depicted as a pink-cheeked human child with huge, dark, almost mangalike eyes and a sad rosebud mouth, the fascinated princess floats downward accompanied by a flock of magenta birds to examine leaves and butterflies and to touch a flower with delicate fingers. But her hair suddenly begins to melt into rain. Miss Sun’s warning sends her scurrying skyward again…but doesn’t stop her from continuing to come down regularly, bringing with her the spring rains. Le endows Miss Sun, Miss Moon, and even the teal stars with faces, and she intersperses views of the bare-armed princess with scenes of earthly schoolchildren drawn with shorter, darker hair but similar features. The art is subject to abrupt transitions from one side of the gutter to the other, but all the sweet expressions and softly variegated colors throughout create delicate visual harmonies.
There’s lots of eye candy in individual scenes, but the storyline is sketchy at best, making the whole rather less than the sum of its parts. (Picture book. 5-8)