Mr. Koope, a crotchety old hedgehog, tries to escape the rain by building a house on top of the clouds.
Rainy days are always a problem for Mr. Koope. Not only is it difficult for a hedgehog to wear a raincoat (sharp spines are such a nuisance!), his roof leaks as well. “Mr. Koope grumbled as he looked up to the sky. ‘The only place to avoid the rain is above the clouds.’ ” An adorable collection of forest animals helps Mr. Koope build a ladder up to the clouds, where he builds a fancy new house. Unfortunately, the noise from falling stars keeps him awake at night, so he must return to his forest home. The text and narration are available in English, French and Korean, with word highlighting available in the “read to me” option for all three languages. The mixed-media illustrations are delightful. Paper cutouts are arranged in three-dimensional dioramas, mixing realia with hand-drawn illustrations. Cotton-ball clouds, textured paper and ribbon curtains create a dollhouse feel. Unfortunately, the story itself lacks dimension, both in terms of character development and interactive features. The illustrations remain static, beyond the falling rain and stars, asking tap-happy readers for patience they may not have.
Ultimately, this quirky little story leaves readers wishing for more. (iPad storybook app. 4-7)