Partly Cloudy

Viking. Mar. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593352670.
PreS-Gr 2–Finding shapes in the clouds is fun for all, but it can be even more fun if there is a scientist that can help identify different types of clouds and give more information about them. Freedman does just that, with two adorable bunnies as the guides. One bunny is fanciful, finding clouds that look like whipped cream or Rapunzel’s hair, the other (sigh, with spectacles) is the scientist, identifying the scientific name and properties of clouds, like cirrus clouds, which are made of ice crystals. The text in speech bubbles is as joyful and freestyle as the conversation of unobserved children, while set-off boxes of type provide more formal definitions. This makes the book ideal for story hours, allowing for a flexible give-and-take between reader and audience. The science is substantial enough to allow for independent research, at least as a launch point. Freedman’s lovely diaphanous watercolor-like scenes are an ideal counterpoint to the text, showing what the clouds look like. The scientific vocabulary will fascinate young readers. At the end of the book, there are beautifully illustrated diagrams that show the sky positions of different types of clouds as well as more specific information.
VERDICT The story is grounded in science and will send children outside to look up, inspired by what they have read. A must have for primary library collections.

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