#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes Warrior Women and Social Justice

Magical Girls, Grains of Sand, and Spring Rain

Molly Idle's "Pearl" and Khoa Le's "The Cloud Princess."

Myra here.

These two picturebooks found me while I was looking for girl-powered books at the library. While they cannot technically be categorized as warrior girls, both Pearl and The Cloud Princess wanted to do something for others – which fit our social justice component.

The Cloud Princess

Written and Illustrated by Khoa Le
Published by Insight Kids (2016, first published in 2015)
ISBN: 1608877310 (ISBN13: 9781608877317). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library.

The Cloud Princess is quite sad up in the skies, with only Miss Moon and Miss Sun for company. Tired of being alone, she asked Miss Sun what can be found down on Earth:

Intrigued and driven by loneliness, the Cloud Princess took a peek, and felt even more alone. She decided to fly even lower to the Earth’s surface to really see with her own eyes the beauty of a flower and hear the laughter of children – not realizing that she was actually putting herself in danger in the process.

Unwittingly, what the Cloud Princess did not realize is that this danger of her turning into droplets is exactly what brings about the spring rain. While not intentional or deliberate, her loneliness actually transformed itself into something that human beings on earth can enjoy. This is the first Khoa Le book that I have read. While I felt that the story was lacking in depth and development, the art work is lovely.


Written and Illustrated by Molly Idle
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers (2018)
ISBN: 0316465674 (ISBN13: 9780316465670). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library.

Unlike The Cloud Princess whose service to the community was unexpected and unwitting, Pearl was determined to be like her sisters of the deep who were responsible and doing something important.

Some of her mermaid sisters were responsible for coral reefs, forests of kelp and even the giants of the deep.

And Pearl deeply yearned to be one of them.

And so, when Pearl’s mother decided it was time for her to be entrusted with her very own task, she was extremely excited.

This excitement was short-lived when she was handed a single grain of sand to take care of. There are grains of sand beyond counting: how could taking care of a single one make any difference, if at all?

This story is a testament to how even the smallest of things can have a profound impact in the larger scheme of things. It is a reminder that everything we do has ripple effects that we may not fully understand as yet. Molly Idle has outdone herself in this one. Gorgeous art, even more beautiful message that will not fail to move even the most jaded reader.

#WomenReadWomen2019: 15 of 25 (Vietnam: Khoa Le)

Molly Idle is from the United States of America

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “Magical Girls, Grains of Sand, and Spring Rain

  1. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Sassy And Jealous Sisters in Picturebooks by Author-Illustrators from Vietnam (one now based in the US) – Gathering Books

  2. Pingback: [Nonfiction Wednesday] Launch of April – June Reading Theme with some Sugar in Milk – Gathering Books

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