Blog tour: Cotton Cloud Refuses to Rain

Welcome to the blog tour for Cotton Cloud Refuses to Rain, written by Elizabeth F. Hill and illustrated by Hannah George!

More about the book…

Cotton Cloud wants to be the best cloud ever! She will never rain, she says, because rain makes people SAD. But the endless sunshine dries up the lake, withers the plants and cracks the soil. Sun and Wind tell Cotton Cloud it is time for her to rain! But stubborn Cotton Cloud refuses to listen. Until one day she looks down on the hot, tired people and sees they are no longer happy. Her heart swells with sorrow, and as her tears turn into rain, the dry earth turns green again. The people laugh and dance happily in the rain, and Cotton Cloud realises the importance of her true purpose.

This beautifully illustrated, gentle story provides plenty of opportunities to discuss the importance of working together and how our actions can affect other people. Cotton Cloud is a character that both children and adults will relate to; she thinks she’s doing the right thing but just needs a little guidance to help her see the situation from another perspective, and to understand the important role she plays in the wider community.

Young readers will also pick up plenty of information about the water cycle and the weather system, from cloud types to the importance of the seasons. Hannah George’s panoramic illustrations create a wonderful mini-world of people and landscapes, packed with plenty of details to spot and explore on every re-reading.

More about the author and illustrator…

Elizabeth F. Hill is a poet, whose poems for children appeared most recently in The Bee Is Not Afraid of Me: A Book of Insect Poems (Emma Press). She is also the author of a nonfiction abecedary of Canada, All ‘Bout Canada: A Compendium of Canadiana (Nimbus Publishing). She holds a MSc in library science and a PhD in intercultural education, has lived and worked on four continents, loves reading, synchronised swimming, weaving, music, and canoeing. She lives in Canada.

Hannah George is the illustrator of Welcome to Hinch Farm (Penguin Random House 2023) by Mrs Hinch, the Instagram lifestyle influencer with a following of 4.6 million, and the Chicken Mission series by Jennifer Gray (Faber & Faber). Hannah’s illustrations of characters and landscapes are full of life and vibrancy. She uses a combination of watercolour, pencil, ink and digital processes. She lives on the South Coast of England.

My impressions…

As described by the publisher, this is ‘a new picture book exploring themes of working together and empathy, told through a gentle story of the water cycle and the importance of harmony in nature’. As described by my 4-year-old daughter, this is ‘a book about a cloud called Cotton, who didn’t want to rain but the lake needs water to be better’. My almost 2-year-old daughter just points and says ‘water’!

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that this is a brilliant book, with gorgeous and vibrant illustrations, that can be enjoyed at every level by every member of the family!

As a mother, I love that I can use this book to snuggle up and read a lovely story when it’s time to wind down after a hectic day, or that I can use it when the children are more awake and receptive to teach them something… whether it’s the name of the various clouds, the role of the rain, the importance of balance or any of the other lessons that these pages inspire.

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