cover image Little Cloud

Little Cloud

Eric Carle, Kathy Darling. Philomel Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-23034-9

A minor addition to Carle's lengthy list of child-captivating titles, this lean tale introduces a cloud that changes itself into a handful of shapes. Calling upon memories of objects it has seen, Little Cloud becomes a plane, a shark, trees, a rabbit and a clown before rejoining its peers. At this point they do what clouds are apt to do when they get together: ""Then all the clouds changed into one big cloud and rained!"" Popping out from a textured background of rich turquoise, Carle's luminous collage art features broad, swirling strokes reminiscent of fingerpainting. As minimalist as the text, these images may well inspire kids to cast more creative glances at the sky. Although the conceit is imaginative, the execution lacks the inventiveness and extra sparkle of such Carle classics as the ""Very"" quartet. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)