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Children's Fiction Fantasy & Magic

The Boy, the Cloud and the Very Tall Tale

by (author) Heather Smith

Publisher
Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Category
Fantasy & Magic, General, General, Death & Dying
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781459836037
    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
    $14.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781459836051
    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
    $9.99

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12

Description

★“Wonderfully whimsical and positively poignant, Ewan’s journey to find his father and his own strength propels him across a colorful 1920s Newfoundland landscape populated with imaginative characters…Compassionately explores how grief affects children and adults alike and how to forgive the perfectly imperfect people who love us. Acclaimed author Smith delivers a rollicking, dreamlike adventure full of humor and healing.”—Booklist, starred review

Two years after the death of his mother, Ewan's father was swept away by a magical cloud.

Now Ewan lives with his little sister, Flora, his Grumple and his mischievous cat, Kipper. But something about his father's disappearance has never felt right to Ewan. He is certain his father wouldn't leave willingly. When he meets Mr. So-and-So, the owner of the mysterious Notion Shop, he is inspired to take destiny into his own hands. With his grandfather’s most reliable horse, the normally timid Ewan sets off from his home in Bucket Cove on a journey that will test his belief in himself while unraveling the secrets of his father's disappearance. When he is joined by Flora and Mr. So-and-So, he comes to understand that even grown-ups sometimes struggle to process their feelings, and that showing compassion to others is the mechanism through which we can begin to show compassion to ourselves.

The epub edition of this title is fully accessible.

About the author

Awards

  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Contributor Notes

Heather Smith is the author of several picture books, including the award-winning The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden. Her middle-grade novel Ebb and Flow was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, and her YA novel The Agony of Bun O’Keefe won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and the OLA Forest of Reading White Pine Award, and was shortlisted for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. Originally from Newfoundland, Heather now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her family.

Editorial Reviews

“This humorous fantasy has plenty of tongue twisters, malapropisms, and puns, but it also deals with grief from a parental death and disappearance and the longing for a safe place to process that grief…Settle into and enjoy this clever and gentle read.”

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

“Readers will enjoy the author’s wonderful use of vocabulary as well as her blend of humour, anguish, and action in this delightful tale. Highly recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

★“Wonderfully whimsical and positively poignant, Ewan’s journey to find his father and his own strength propels him across a colorful 1920s Newfoundland landscape populated with imaginative characters…Compassionately explores how grief affects children and adults alike and how to forgive the perfectly imperfect people who love us. Acclaimed author Smith delivers a rollicking, dreamlike adventure full of humor and healing.”

Booklist

“Heather Smith’s new middle-grade novel explores the topics of grief and loss in a way that is touching, tender and true…The magical elements of the story are skillfully woven into the narrative and the mystery of what truly happened to the children’s father is clever and satisfying in its resolution...Quirky and filled with whimsy, Smith’s tale is a delight.”

Atlantic Books Today

“Reminiscent of Richard Kennedy and Kate DiCamillo in its mixture of strong, somewhat eccentric fantasy elements and confrontation of sorrow...Complex and memorable.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Ewan sets off on a journey up the coast in search of his wayward father, taking along his grumpy cat Kipper, Flora, and Mr. So-and-So, purveyor of notions...With a mixture of fantasy and mystery, touches of humor, and heartwarming love, Smith has woven themes of strength and resilience into a powerful story that will stay with readers.”

School Library Journal

“A poignant coming-of-age tale punctuated with whimsy, magic, and sorrow.”

Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Canadian Children’s Book News

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