The Cloud Spinner

Written by: Michael Catchpool

Illustrated by: Alison Jay

Before Reading

Preview and Predict

How wonderful would it be if you could spin beautiful clothing from the clouds? The young boy in this story can, and you and your child will see what happens when a greedy King wants more than he actually needs of this magnificent cloud cloth. Talk to your child about the title, the cover and the other illustrations throughout the story. Consider questions like:

The title of this story is "The Cloud Spinner". What do you think this story is going to be about?

What do you see on the front cover?

What is the young boy doing?

{Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?

As You Read

Have Fun!

Make your storytelling dynamic by incorporating these tips:

  1. Use different voices for each character. This will make the story more entertaining and your child will love hearing you switch from voice to voice as you go along.
  2. Create a simple melody for the phrase "Enough is enough and not one stitch more." so that you can sing it each time you read it. It won't be long before your child sings along with you. If you need some inspiration, try the melody used in this reading.


Build Vocabulary

Encourage your child to stop when s/he gets to a new word in the story. See if s/he can discover its meaning by using the illustrations and words surrounding it. Examples of new words from The Cloud Spinner include:

  2. WISE


Monitor Comprehension

Let your child make inferences and connections while reading. For example, when the boy uses all of the clouds in the sky to follow the king's orders, ask your child, "Why didn't it rain when the boy was finished making the clothes for the King? Why did the King want such a long cloak? What do you think will happen next?"

After Reading

Make Connections

Help your child look at the story as a whole once you've completed your read-through by asking/discussing questions like:

What happened in this story?

Did you like this story? Why or why not? What was your favorite part?

What does "Enough is enough and not one stitch more" mean?

What other things could he make besides scarfs and dresses?

The King wanted what the boy had so he ordered the boy to create beautiful clothes for him and his family. Have you ever been jealous of what someone else had? What did you do?

Extending the Story

Cloud Watching Poem

Go cloud watching and see what shapes, animals, and figures the clouds create. Next, write a poem about what you see! For example, if you see a dog, a heart, and horse, your poem go something like:

In the clouds I see a dog.

It runs and plays, even in the fog!

There is also a heart. high in the sky.

I wish I could fly way up high!


STEM Extension

Use this fun activity guide to create a cloud in a jar! Also, before you go out to cloud watch, read about what clouds are made up of and what kinds of clouds there are.