In “Picnic on a Cloud” by parenting author Lu Hanessian (BennickBooks, New York), a mother follows her child in a wild fantasy that takes them into the clouds, swimming in the Amazon and to ancient Egyptian caves. Even though lunch was ready and mom could have been cranky about his daydreaming–and not jumping to obey when she calls for him–she isn’t and instead chooses to follow into his imaginary world. They have a fun filled afternoon and at the end of the day, Ben dozes off… probably still dreaming of picnics on a cloud.
Aside from being a fun story on the magnitude of children’s imagination, the book urges us parents to lay aside the daily chores and rhythms and follow our child for a while. It inspires connection between parent and child through means of imaginative play. To make the reading last just a little longer, parent and child are invited at the end of the book to answer some questions to fuel the child’s imagination, as little Ben fuels his jetpack on his trip among the clouds.
The big-eyed slim nosed characters in the watercolor drawings by Tanya Leonello remind me of the characters of The Incredibles, Pixar’s blockbuster from a while back and one of my daughter’s favorites. Page full colorful drawings are rhythmically interlaced with fragments of text – just about enough for a young child. A fresh little story for daydreamers and cloud lovers.
Visit www.picniconacloud.com for more information about the book and learning resources on play, imagination and connection.