Review Blog

Dec 15 2017

Papa Sky by Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich

cover image

MidnightSun Publishing, 2017. ISBN 9781925227291
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Themes: Cloud forests, Endangered animals, Climate change. Papa Sky sits high where earth meets sky. But one day he is blown down into the forest through the clouds. What will happen now?
The story is set in a fictitious cloud forest, and the reader will gain first clues about the tale when looking at the end papers. The first endpaper slow a map of the world where cloud forest are and the last end paper shows all the animals that live in cloud forests. The title page features a poem, Song of the Cloud Forests by Ry Cooder and then the reader is taken into a fabulous story about Papa Sky and about how important he is to the cloud forests that are the animals' homes. They work together to get him back to where he belongs.
The narrative is one that lends itself to being read aloud, as it flow along beautifully with the text making strong visual images. The intricate illustrations by Sally Heinrich are done in strong greens and blues and the animal shapes in the clouds will fascinate any reader.
This is a story that deals with complex issues of climate change and endangered animals, but in an enticing and interesting way. An adult reader can start with the note about the animals and the Golden Toad mentioned by Tim Flannery and talk about what a cloud forest is, and teachers will find the teachers' notes very useful.
The combination of wonderful text and illustrations make Papa Sky a stand out picture book.
Pat Pledger

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