In my "Note to Authors and Publishers," I promise an honest review of the ARC's they send me so that the parents who read my blog can find the absolute best choices for their children. I am very grateful to Beth Bence Reinke for the opportunity to review her newest children's book:
Carla's Cloud Catastrophe
Author: Beth Bence Reinke
Illustrator: Ginger Nielson
Publisher: 4RV Publishing
"Disaster struck two hours before my birthday party."
What kind of disaster, you ask? Well, the kind that makes all the clouds fall from the summer sky and cover the ground like snow. Carla is concerned about whether she will be back at home in time for her birthday party. Dad, as the Director of Transportation, has to go to a meeting and fix the situation before they can go home with her birthday cake. Will they take the clouds to the dump, send them to the ocean, or use them for pillow stuffing? Or will Carla think of a better idea?
Positive Elements: Carla is helpful, thinking of a way to save the day. The whole town pitches in together to clear away the trouble. Carla makes the best of the situation and encourages others despite her disappointment about missing the majority of her own birthday party. The author uses a lot of creative similes to paint a picture. Ginger Nielson's illustrations effectively capture the townspeople's awe, worry, and excitement.
Negative Elements: I shared Carla's Cloud Catastrophe with my nine-year-old sister and six-year-old brother to get their reactions, and without any help from me, they voiced my concerns. The dad in the story is rather cold toward Carla, not really putting her birthday first but going to work (on his day off) instead. I would have appreciated some dialog between them about this. Also, it is said that the clouds fell from the sky because of a tornado. Not to be little Johnny RainCloud, but tornadoes are low pressure systems made of rapidly rising air that suck things up, not down. I know we're using our imagination, here, but even my six-year-old brother had trouble with that one. Also, for children who live in an area where tornadoes are common, this might prove too close to reality and scary.
Nevertheless, if you liked Chicken Little or any book like that as a child, you and your children will most likely enjoy Carla's Cloud Catastrophe. Just be ready for the laws of gravity and physics to be a little stretched!
What would you do if the clouds fell from the sky?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I also received the products mentioned above for free in hopes that I would review it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."