Today Zoe of Playing By The Book introduces
a new-to-me book that looks gorgeous! It is called
Journey on a Cloud and is inspired by the art of
Marc Chagall. Zoe created a board game to go along
with the story that she is sharing with you today!
With my choice of book today I wanted to find something
to say a very special thank you to Cassi. I know I don't
need to tell anyone reading this what a wonderful job she
does with The Crafty Crow, but I really wanted to find a
beautiful, breathtaking, unusual book that offered a
myriad of creative possibilities as my own way of showing
how thankful I am for her and her blog.
Journey on a Cloud by Veronique Massenot and
Elise Mansot is a stunning large format picture book
which hits the nail on the head. Inspired by the work
of Marc Chagall this book has it all - a story to tug at
heart strings, with humour and delicious language
that will delight both child and adult readers, illustrations
you'll want to put on your wall, and that special
something that, I promise, will spark any reader's
imagination into creativity, whether that be
to explore art, geography or science.
Zephyr is a mailman who loves to daydream and to watch
clouds. One day a breathless cloud offers Zephyr the
chance to fulfill his dream of travelling the world to look
for beauty. Zephyr leaves his little blue town, with its
addresses on Flax Street, Cornflower Lane, Lapis Lazuli
Avenue and Indigo Arcade and takes to the sky.
What he sees on his journey around the world is more
delightful than anything in his dreams; a village of bright
and glowing yellows, a land rich with reds. Everywhere he
goes he is welcomed, even if smiles are the only
language Zephyr can share with people he meets. But all
of a sudden a storm brews up; "A giant lightening blot
struck the cloud, who roared in thunderous anger... and
then wept tears of rain". Zephyr looses his grip and falls
to earth landing in a dark and frightening rainforest.
There, surrounded by doubt and fear, something happens
to Zephyr which is so wonderful, powerful and profound
that his heart is given flight enabling his journey to both
come full circle and start anew.
Inspired by Chagall's love of including flying figures in his
paintings, his passion for his wife Bella, Chagall's own
childhood full of daydreaming and his lifetime travelling
across the world this book packs so much into its 32
pages. The intense colours are gorgeous, the
confirmation that warmth, kindness and beauty can be
found right here on earth are reassuring, whilst the
message about having faith in your dreams is a great one
for kids of any age.
When we first read Journey on a Cloud at home our
heads were buzzing with ideas. The girls wanted to make
their own clouds, start painting, pretend they were
travelling the world, lie on the grass in the garden and
just watch the sky all at once! In the end we decided to
make our own board game to incorporate at least
some of their ideas.
First the girls coloured in a rough map of the world using
different shades of groups of colours, inspired by the
village of yellows, the town of blue and the land of
red visited by Zephyr.
We stuck our map onto a large cardboard lid,
cutting holes into each continent.
Inspired by looking in an encyclopedia at the various
clouds and their intriguing names, the girls brainstormed
ideas for what we could use for different clouds; We
ended up with popcorn, tissue paper, cotton wool, quilt
padding, silver crepe paper and regular
paper, scrunched up into balls.
To play the game we took turns to blew our clouds
around the world - the destination and type of cloud we
used was determined by picking tokens
we made to match.
A simple game we could all play together as we chatted
about where in the world we would visit if we had a
friendly cloud to float on! And if boardgames aren't what
your family is into right now dont' let that put you off.
This stunning, inspirational book is really worth seeking
out - I'm sure it will encourage all sorts of flights of
imagination in you and your kids.
Prestel, the publishers of Journey on a Cloud, have
another great art inspired picture book for children -
The Great Wave. This is also a super mix of story and
fact, offering lots of opportunity to play and learn as
well as being a book that is simply lovely to read.
Zoe writes at Playing By The Book all about kids' books
and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire her and her kids to
get up to. "A book and a craft" could be said to sum up
the raison d'etre of her blog! Sometimes her family crafts
or plays and they want a good book that continues the
game, that captures some of the magic they’ve enjoyed.
Sometimes it’s the other way round and they read a great
book which inspires them to get the glue and glitter out.
Either way, they’ve always got plenty of books around the
house, boxes of “crafty stuff” and a desire to have fun.
Thank you, Zoe! To see the rest of the books and
crafts in this series click the button below!