LHave you ever looked up at the sky and wondered what different things you could see in the clouds?
Have you ever been to a cloud forest and wondered where the earth meets the sky?
Papa Sky by Jane Jolly and illustrated by Sally Heinrich is an imaginative yet informative story about cloud forests and the animals that need them to survive.
Papa Sky is having lots of fun creating different shapes in the clouds above the cloud forest until one night he falls down into the forest. At first it seems like a wonderful thing to have Papa Sky down in the rainforest but soon the animals come to realise that without him in the clouds they are nothing.
The animals work together to send him back up to where he belongs so once again he can create the clouds that they need for survival
“We must get him back to where he belongs”.
“He is our all”.
“Without him we are nothing.”
Not only does this book provide entertainment it also helps the reader to see the importance of the climate in cloud forests. Cloud forests harbour many of the world’s flora and fauna species (which can be seen in the end paper of this book) and due to climate change many of these species are becoming endangered or extinct. The animals realise that although it is fun to have someone new around, they really need him to be where he has always been.
Sally Heinrich’s illustrations enhance the story with vibrant colour, small detail and varied page layouts. The children who have read this book with me have loved looking at the animals on each page – especially the pages without words – and wondering how they are feeling and what they might be thinking.
There are many wonderful discussions you can have before, during and after this story and it is wonderful to see a picture book that can raise awareness of this issue in a non-confrontational way.
So what can you do with this book?
- Investigate what cloud forests are and where they are in the world. Find out if people live in or near them and which animals need cloud forests to survive.
- Find out how cloud forests are being affected by climate change.
- Investigate an animal that is becoming endangered due to the change in how cloud forests function.
- Find out more about the Beautiful nursery frog and how climate change is causes a decrease in the population. Create a way you can inform others about the plight of this frog or another animal that lives in a cloud forest. https://theconversation.com/australian-endangered-species-beautiful-nursery-frog-11426
Science & Art
- Step outside, lie down on the grass and look at some clouds. What shapes can you see? Draw, paint or collage your own types of clouds.
Want more? Work with me to create more great teacher resources using books as springboards.