A mountaintop is home to the man in the clouds, so called by the villagers in the valley below.
How he came to be there, no one knows, but every day he sits in his wooden cottage and draws inspiration from a beautiful landscape painting on his wall. Villagers escape the drudgery of their lives by climbing up to gaze upon the painting, ignoring the beauty of the scenery along the way. The old man welcomes all sorts to his modest home, but when a stranger comes to see his famous painting and puts the idea into his head that selling it could make him rich, he can no longer just enjoy it for the peace it gave him. Fearful and unhappy, his attitude toward the painting and his visitors changes, and he makes a fateful decision. Written in the style of a traditional tale, this very readable story is richly amplified by Fienieg's soft watercolors, from the invitingly skewed lines of the house to the foreboding shadows that reflect the man's darkening mood. The simplicity of the idyllic setting is echoed in the unadorned typeface. Endpapers depict a grand view of valleys between mountaintops just touched with sunlight, a hint of what awaits those who can appreciate what they already have.
A lovely parable for our times from an acclaimed Dutch husband/wife team. (Picture book. 4-7)