Katie Harnett, Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud, Hardie Grant Egmont, August 2017, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781911171157
The little raincloud is sad. The sun has scared away all the other rainclouds and he is lonely. He finds a girl, Ivy, who also appears lonely and tries to befriend her. Ivy is very grumpy but the raincloud is not deterred—he knows that ‘being grumpy is just another way of being sad’. The raincloud finds a way to help Ivy and their partnership brings happiness to themselves and others.
Visually, Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud is a beautiful book, complete with the lovely feel of matte, heavy-weight pages. The colourful pencil and watercolour illustrations add further detail to the story, e.g. the depiction of the raincloud looking for a friend but ending up raining on a wedding day.
The image of the cloud reminds me a great deal of the cloud in the award-winning Mr Huff and, like Mr Huff, this is a book about feelings. But perhaps Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud addresses this in a more concrete way. The message that grumpiness can be an expression of sadness is an important one for children and is expressed so simply in this book. There is also a message about thoughtfulness and the idea that helping someone can lead to friendship.
A beautiful book for children aged 2 to 5.
Reviewed by Rebecca Blakeney