Lost in the Clouds is a sensitive and useful picture book for young children about bereavement and grief.
Billy knows that his mum has died, and he likes to think of her as a cloud in the sky. Sometimes Billy’s days with his dad are good, when they can have fun and still feel close to Mummy. But sometimes the sky is dark and stormy and Mummy feels too distant, and Daddy feels distant too. On a day just like this, Billy builds a tower to the sky to try to be closer to Mummy.
Warm and evocative illustrations show how grief can feel, and also demonstrate that joy and fun can still happen even amid great loss.
Although the story is from Billy’s perspective, his dad’s difficulties and kindnesses are manifest too. “Daddy wasn’t quite the same on these days. He would be quieter and his eyes would always be looking far away, as if he was trying to find Mummy in the distance somewhere”.
There are handy notes and further resources in the back of the book on helping children deal with grief. For older children and adults, I always recommend Michael Rosen’s classic The Sad Book. There is a very sympathetic cat who pops up throughout Lost in the Clouds, and is especially fine on the back cover, putting a paw out to test the weather for Billy and his dad.