today’s children storybook summary is
By David Wiesner
Storyline: The kids are out on a school trip. Today, they are going to the Observatory on the Empire State building. The place is huge; from the ground you cannot see its end. The kids climb the stairs all the way up and the building is so tall that its tower is surrounded by clouds. Up at the top visibility is very low. It looks like the for is dense. As you go further, the wind is blowing shapeless clouds around. In this condition, it is easy to get lost, as it happens to the kid in the story, a boy with black boots, and a red hat and scarf.
But he is not scared. He makes friends with a white mischievous cloud he meets along the way. The boy carries pencils and papers in his coat pocket, fact that stirs the cloud’s interest. So he picks up the boy and, plunging into the sky, together they fly up to Sector 7, where the Cloud Dispatch Center is located.
The sector is nothing else then a cloud factory where clouds are shaped into various forms and released in the sky. There are people working there in different stations, some supervising the arrivals/departures of the clouds, some assigning clouds to their spots, others designing the clouds’ shapes.
However, you can see some clouds looking at papers and being deeply unhappy. But when they see the boy coming they show him their shapeless designs. They are asking him for help. He pulls out his pencils and draws various fish.
The clouds look happy now but the people don’t like the boy’s design. They tear apart his sketches and separates him from his cloud friend. Then he is sent with a cloud taxi to Manhattan where he is dropped at the Empire State Building where his teacher and classmates are watching in awe his return along with his friend, who was following him.
When they get out in the street, they look up on the sky and see that all the clouds are shaped like fishes. It looks like the sky and the river below are one big sea where the sea creatures leave peacefully together. Actually, it looks like not only the city but the Sector 7 above had been conquered by fishes to the exasperation of the people working at the Cloud Dispatch Center.
In his room, late at night, the boy is not in his bed, but asleep and dreaming on a cloud above. There is where you understand it all: in the boy’s room you see an aquarium, a poster depicting an octopus, and numerous drawings of fish.
Characters: boy, cloud, fish people
Illustration: The story above is all told in pictures. In this book there are no words, or text, other than various names on the pictures themselves. And I can say it take time and patience to read it. But the good news is that you can build upon it as you like, and you can go with your imagination. The drawings are precise and rich, details are kept under control and offered as much as to get our imagination going. The illustration is realistic with clear lines and defined colors and the feelings are easy to read.
Medal/Awards: Caldecott Honor Book
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