cover image Cloud Nine

Cloud Nine

Norman Silver. Clarion Books, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-395-73545-9

There's no place like home, no matter how noisy. This is the lesson Armstrong learns after his exasperated father tells him to ""Go outside and build!"" And so he does: he builds a ladder that reaches the sky. Eight number-shaped clouds float by before Armstrong lassoes the ninth one and climbs aboard. Thrilled with his very own, quiet place, Armstrong sails through the air until his cloud hits a mountain peak and springs a leak, causing it to whoosh through the sky until Armstrong lands back home with his ever-cacophonous family. Although the transitions pose a few stumbling blocks, Silver's (No More Tigers in Africa) story pays playful tribute to a child's imagination. And Ormerod (Sunshine; Moonlight) offers a silver lining with her visual humor (Armstrong cuts quite a comical figure as he climbs his ladder wearing oven mitts on his hands and a swimming mask over his helmet). A quibble: the color in a number of the spreads is washed out. Ages 5-8. (Aug.)