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“The greatest gift is a passion for reading.”
Summary: It hasn't snowed in Peacedale in a long time. Once again it is almost Christmas and there is no sign of snow. Meanwhile, high in the sky, Poofin is spending is days changing shapes like all clouds do. The day has come for him to stop playing and learn his job. To help him, Altos sends him to earth. Poofin slipped through an open window into Bobby's room. For the next few days, Poofin follows Bobby as he learns how to help people. But everytime he did something to help, it all went wrong. How could he possibly protect people if he always made them sad? This is a seasonal picture book with life lessons for all year round!
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 10
Age of Child: Started reading with 6-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our child has asked for this several times. She loves the story because it's about Christmas, but also because it has some humor, too.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a great change to the usual holiday fare. The "reason for the season" is played out on several levels: the town is preparing to recreate the King's procession; and a little boy and a cloud are learning that it is better to give than receive, each in their own way.
Pros: This is a picture book everyone (young and old) can enjoy and relate to. The story is wonderful and the illustrations are beautiful.
Cons: Because of the dual story lines, it takes a couple pages to lay out the plot. Although there is more text than you might expect for a picture book for the front-end of this target audience, the author does an excellent job conveying the story without being wordy (and it reads quickly). Still, for younger pre-readers, it may be too many words.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. You will likely read it several times and may want this to be part of your seasonal collection.
Educational Themes: There are lots of ways to have fun with this book. IT is the kind of story that would make a great community play. Christmas is just one of the themes to build on. Here are some others: weather, responsibility, fear, perseverance, compassion, and friendship, to name a few.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, Christmas, life lessons
Date(s) Reviewed: December 2007
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.