With over 100 different types out there, clouds are probably one of the most overlooked elements in nature, yet the information they hold within their shape and formations can be both interesting and useful. Now, a new ebook for children by author and entrepreneur Monique Chambers, called What a Cloudy Day, aims to teach children about the most common ones in a fun and interactive way.
“The idea came to me a few years ago when I read a book about clouds,” Monique says. “I remember flicking through it and thinking it would be the most boring read but ended up being fascinated by the fact that, by being able to tell the difference between clouds, I could tell whether it was going to rain anytime soon or not,” Ms Chambers explains.
Narrated by actor Thomas Camilleri, the app sees children follow Cumulus, a good-natured cloud, which usually appear in the sky like puffy pieces of floating cotton, travelling through Cloudland trying to make friends. On his journey, Cumulus meets a variety of different clouds, including the nutty Professor Cirrus – thin and wispy clouds that are formed of ice crystals – and the Mackerel Family, which are characterised by their rippling pattern caused by high-altitude, atmospheric waves.
“The story is as much about friendship and being a good judge of character as it is about clouds,” Ms Chambers continues. “But, unlike so many children’s books out there, the story also has a very concrete scientific element to it. The last thing I wanted was to make learning about the weather and the scientific meaning of clouds boring, so each variety of cloud has a very individual and recognisable character.”
With the sky becoming a playground for Cumulus, children go through the story learning how different clouds anticipate rain, sunshine or evenhail. The app also inspires children to want to head outside and have fun cloud-watching – a pastime which, as Ms Chambers herself explains, “is both free and loads of fun!
What a Cloudy Day is available on the iTunes App Store, as well as on Google Play, for just €1.99.