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Children's Fiction Weather

Little Cloud

The Science of a Hurricane

by (author) Johanna Wagstaffe

illustrated by Julie McLaughlin

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Feb 2020
Weather, Disasters, Environment
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Jun 2020
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


Follow our little cloud on an adventure through the sky and learn the science behind how it transforms from a simple cumulus cloud to a full-blown hurricane.

Beautifully detailed illustrations from award-winning artist Julie McLaughlin integrate science with storytelling. Children will enjoy finding new gems of information even after several reads, thanks to a whimsical and rich layout. And meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe weaves a comprehensive narrative about a powerful weather system that’s so compelling readers won’t even realize they are on their way to becoming budding meteorologists.

About the authors

Johanna Wagstaffe is the meteorologist and science host for CBC Vancouver and CBC News Network. She is the author of Little Cloud: The Science of a Hurricane and Fault Lines: Understanding the Power of Earthquakes. With a background in seismology, geophysics and earth science, Johanna has covered a wide range of science stories, from the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami to the Paris Climate Change Conference. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Johanna Wagstaffe's profile page

Julie McLaughlin is an award-winning illustrator whose work includes commissions for editorial, advertising and publishing clients from around the world. Her previous books have been nominated for several awards, and she won the 2015 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction for Why We Live Where We Live. She is the illustrator of What Animals Want in the Orca Think series and Pride Puppy! Julie grew up on the Prairies and now resides on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.


Julie McLaughlin's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Rarely has severe weather been so sweetly packaged as in this story of Nate, a little cloud that becomes a hurricane.”


“Excellent way to introduce young readers to the science of hurricanes. Would make an excellent purchase for elementary school libraries or classrooms. Presents the science of hurricanes in a cute non-threatening way.”

Must Read Lit: K thru YA

“This little book is a good investment in introductory knowledge about an intriguing meteorological phenomenon. With the basic information provided by Little Cloud, kids will be better equipped to understand and become involved in a fascinating branch of science. Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“Colorful illustrations and kid-friendly text combine to make this title a wonderful addition…A great title to complement any weather, STEM, or STEAM unit. Highly recommended.”

School Library Connection

“A book that is accessible and descriptive without overwhelming the target audience. Anyone interested in worrisome weather will be intrigued and informed.”

Sal's Fiction Addiction

“Simple primary narrative...Cheery, digitally collaged illustrations add even more information...clear enough for early weather watchers.”

Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by Johanna Wagstaffe

Other titles by Julie McLaughlin