Kumo the Bashful Cloud

By Phoebe Yì Líng

Published on November 1, 2022

Kumo the Bashful Cloud
Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Nathalie Dion

Penguin Random House

If you’ve ever spent any time laying in the grass, gazing up at the endless blue sky and tufts of white clouds, there’s an enveloping stillness and quiet that almost seems to make time stop. In Kumo the Bashful Cloud, author Kyo Maclear and illustrator Nathalie Dion join forces to communicate this same deep feeling of calm as we accompany Kumo (the Japanese word for “cloud”) on her first big day out.

Preferring to hide and blend in with the rest of the clouds, one day, Kumo is asked to step out of her comfort zone when some of her counterparts are unable to make it to cloud duty. Mustering up all of her courage and fluff, Kumo makes her way across the open skies. First overcome with worry and doubt, once she realizes that she’s not alone, things begin to run more smoothly. Kumo travels far and wide, discovering new places and meeting new friends. Along the way, she stops to play with a young daydreamer, feeling connected more than ever to what it means to be a floating, traveling, conspicuous cloud. A long day now over, Kumo turns in for the night, feeling a little less small in such a big place.

After reading this book, young and old readers alike are sure to gain an even greater appreciation for clouds. Every time we look up at the sky, we’ll likely think of Kumo.mRb

Phoebe Yì Líng is a freelance writer, editor, and full-time explorer. She currently works with the Nunavik Inuit community as a Gladue writer and sometimes spends her time dabbling in experimental performance or marvelling at the complexities of intra/interpersonal communication.



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