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Children's Fiction Fantasy & Magic

The Boy, the Cloud and the Very Tall Tale

by (author) Heather Smith

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Fantasy & Magic, Death & Dying, General, General
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Two years after the death of his mother, Ewan's father was swept away by a magical cloud.

Now Ewan lives with his little sister, Flora, his Grumple and his mischievous cat, Kipper. But something about his father's disappearance has never felt right to Ewan. He is certain his father wouldn't leave willingly. When he meets Mr. So-and-So, the owner of the mysterious Notion Shop, he is inspired to take destiny into his own hands. With his grandfather’s most reliable horse, the normally timid Ewan sets off from his home in Bucket Cove on a journey that will test his belief in himself while unraveling the secrets of his father's disappearance. When he is joined by Flora and Mr. So-and-So, he comes to understand that even grown-ups sometimes struggle to process their feelings, and that showing compassion to others is the mechanism through which we can begin to show compassion to ourselves.

About the author

Editorial Reviews

“Ewan sets off on a journey up the coast in search of his wayward father, taking along his grumpy cat Kipper, Flora, and Mr. So-and-So, purveyor of notions...With a mixture of fantasy and mystery, touches of humor, and heartwarming love, Smith has woven themes of strength and resilience into a powerful story that will stay with readers.”

School Library Journal

“Reminiscent of Richard Kennedy and Kate DiCamillo in its mixture of strong, somewhat eccentric fantasy elements and confrontation of sorrow...Complex and memorable.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will enjoy the author’s wonderful use of vocabulary as well as her blend of humour, anguish, and action in this delightful tale. Highly recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

★“Wonderfully whimsical and positively poignant, Ewan’s journey to find his father and his own strength propels him across a colorful 1920s Newfoundland landscape populated with imaginative characters…Compassionately explores how grief affects children and adults alike and how to forgive the perfectly imperfect people who love us. Acclaimed author Smith delivers a rollicking, dreamlike adventure full of humor and healing.”


Other titles by Heather Smith