Who makes those clouds in the sky, anyway? Writer Becker and Pixar art director and story conceptualist Klocek are pretty sure it’s a bunch of kids.
Klocek’s artwork is top-shelf; all the action takes place in the air, so the views even on the endpapers are magnificent: a patchwork of fields, a meandering stream, birds in flight below readers. In the sky, adrift on clouds that their elders crafted, are cloudlets, little cloud-makers–to-be. First, they must pass their exams at the Formation School, their work to be judged by the Guardians. Young Gale has been neglecting her studies; she spends her time mooning, as it were, at the Earth and what is happening below. When she tries to conjure a cumulonimbus, it doesn’t tower and threaten, it looks like an elephant. Her cumulus looks like a tugboat, and others clouds look like dogs, frogs, and bears. Things look bleak for Gale until the Guardians applaud her efforts: “We are so glad to finally find you. We’ve been waiting for another Daydream Cloud for a long time.” Steering clear of mawkishness, Becker and Klocek dive straight into the imagination. Klocek’s cloud characters are marshmallow puffy with giant, waft-y hairdos; daubs of paint (presumably digital) in varying tones of slate blue, lavender, and gold, with genial, fat cheeks and expressive faces.
A crackerjack salute to the creations of the mind. (Picture book. 3-5)