Clouds by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Frane Lessac (HarperCollins, 2008, Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Stage 1) provides a gentle introduction to clouds, with a nice tone that brings the reader into the text, encouraging observation of the worlds around us.
As Rockwell provides explanations about types of clouds, the illustrator, Lessac, provides the same clouds image of where clouds are located in the sky. That repetition is a nice touch. Rockwell explains not just what types of clouds there are but what their names mean, thus helping the young reader recognize the connections between altostratus and stratus clouds, for example.
The children in the painted illustrations have lots of fun under the various cloudy skies, and when precipitation comes, it is fog and snow for them to play in. Of course, there is a page with a cumulonimbus cloud that prompts the children to seek cover inside, but the book’s gentle tone resumes when the storm is over.
Clouds does not discuss much of the water cycle, so the text is not overwhelming with information. Instead, children can learn just what they may want to know about the puffy and gray clouds over our heads.