The Cloud Spinner, by Michael Catchpool, is illustrated by Alison Jay. In a world full of high-pressure marketing aimed at children and their parents, this is a relevant modern fairy tale. Catchpool tells the story of a small boy who has the gift of weaving clouds into soft and colorful cloth. As the boy weaves the cloth, he sings a tune his mother taught him, “Enough is enough and not one stitch more.” He isn’t tempted to take more clouds than he needs, but only spins a few small scarves to wear. But when the king spies the boy’s beautiful scarves in the marketplace, the king demands that the boy weave a scarf for him. The boy advises the king that it wouldn’t be wise to make a scarf because the king doesn’t need one. This only incites the king’s desire for one. As you might guess, one scarf is not enough for the king and his royal family. Soon he demands that the boy make cloaks and gowns for the queen and the princess. The king and queen are thrilled with their clothing, but the princess is oddly silent. When the rains cease falling and the crops fail, the princess sees the connection between the disappearing clouds and the beautiful cloth. The moral of the story is subtle and simple–don’t use more than you need! Together the princess and the boy return the clouds to the sky and the rain falls again. Alison Jay’s unique illustrations give this story a lovely, old-fashioned quality like a fairy tale. Reviewed by Victoria.