I really valued the wonderful critique I got on the first draft of this book so am posting my second version. It is a picture book of about 700 words (I am aware it should be a bit shorter) but i would love your ideas especially on the end. Should there be a silver lining instead of a pearl?
Thanks in advance!
Korra and the Cloud-Man
On Friday, Korra, Grandpa and Grandma hopped sky-high.
On Saturday, they went for a picnic.
On Sunday, Grandma and Grandpa were leaving.
“Don’t be glum,” Grandma said to Korra, “we’ll be back soon.”
“Be happy,” said Grandpa, and did one giant jump.
“I am happy,” said Korra, but he wasn’t.
Illustration suggestion: Mom & Dad standing beside Korra.
And then, just as Grandma and Grandpa hopped away after one last hug, a very strange thing happened.
A tiny Cloud-Man jumped into Korra’s heart. He felt heavy and uncomfortable.
Hi, said Cloud-Man.
“Go away,” said Korra, bouncing up and down so Cloud-Man would go away. But he didn’t budge.
Korra did a funny dance but no luck.
He tried bouncing up and down. Still there.
So Korra decided to run away instead.
Illustration suggestion: Ed, the Echidna, is burrowing.
“Oye, Korra!” yelled Ed the Echidna, “let’s play pirates. Come and help me!”
Korra loved pirates. He dug until he was hot and sweaty.
Was Cloud-Man gone?
Hi, said a tiny voice from behind his right ear.
Still there! Korra bounced off.
Illustration suggestion: Wolly, the Emu, is hopping around on one foot.
“Oye, Korra!” boomed Wolly the Emu, “I’ve been waiting for you! Let’s play hop-scotch.”
Korra loved hop-scotch. He hopped and he scotched until he was panting hard.
Was he gone?
Hi, said Cloud-Man, this time from behind Korra’s left ear.
Still there! Korra bounded off.
Illustration suggestion: Kea, the Koala, is measuring.
“Oye, Korra!” cried Kea the Koala, “Let’s make a leaf and berry cake!”
Korra loved baking. He also loved cake!
He measured and mixed until his arm was tired.
Was he gone?
Hi, said Cloud-Man, this time from the back of Korra’s head!
Still there! Again, Korra hopped off.
To his favourite spot.
He had tried everything so why was Cloud-Man still there?
He stomped his feet on the ground and let out a loud yell.
“Goodness!” said a wombat, “What a tantrum!”
“The Cloud-Man won’t leave! And I’ve tried everything!”
“Still no need to stomp and shout,” muttered the wombat. “Have you really tried everything?”
“Yes! I tried dancing, smiling, cooking, pirates and racing!”
“Humph,” said the wombat. “You certainly haven’t tried the most important thing.”
“What’s that? What’s the most important thing?”
But the wombat was gone.
Korra wondered. Surely he had tried everything.
Hi, said Cloud-Man.
Maybe he hadn’t tried … everything.
Hi, said Cloud-Man again.
This time, Korra didn’t run away. He sat down and took a deep breath.
“Hi,” Korra said.
He thought about his grandparents and how he would miss them.
Cloud-Man blew a breath … whooooosshhh … a purple cloud rose over Korra and burst in a little rain shower.
Korra allowed himself to feel cold and wet.
After a few minutes, the purple cloud became a little white cloud.
As Korra stared at it, he saw himself hugging Grandma and Grandpa.
He felt drier and warmer.
The little cloud became a perfect tiny sphere … and dropped into Korra’s hand. It was a shiny white pearl.
Cloud-Man whispered a secret in Korra’s ear. And then … suddenly … he was gone!
Korra felt better. He felt … happy!
“Thanks a lot!” he shouted loudly, “thanks a lot!”
And he bounced away.
Kea’s cake had baked and it was delicious.
“Thanks Kea!” Korra said.
He joined Ed and they dug all the way down to … Australia!
They found two nails and an old shoe.
Wolly had hop-scotched and was now racing.
“On your mark, get set, go!”
Korra loved feeling the wind against his face.
That night, Mom and Dad tucked Korra in bed.
“We’re glad you’re feeling better,” Mom said, as she kissed him goodnight.
“I kept running from Cloud-Man,” Korra said sleepily, “but instead I just had to talk to him first. He only left when I faced him.”
“Who’s Cloud-Man?” whispered Mom to Dad.
“Oh, it’s just his imagination,” Dad said softly.
But Korra smiled and curled his hand round the shiny white pearl.
He would never forget Cloud-Man’s important secret.
Do you want to know the secret?
Inside every Cloud-Man is a shiny pearl.