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Cyril the Lonely Cloud

'Cyril The Lonely Cloud' has just been published in the UK by Oxford University Press. The book has also been published in Holland, China and Greece. The Greek publishers asked for a note to be printed at the back of the book to explain the idea behind the story. Here’s what I sent them, the story behind the story…

Cyril The Lonely Cloud animals loving that they are getting wet

Have you ever noticed how on a lovely, sunny day people will often comment that it’s a ‘perfect’ blue sky, with not a cloud in sight? So imagine everyone’s disappointment when that seemingly perfect sky is ruined by a small cloud. That’s how the idea of Cyril was born. The idea of a lonely cloud who desperately searches for friendly smiles as he passes over the land. In the developed countries, we mainly see clouds as a nuisance. They dampen our spirits with their gloomy shadows and the threat of rain. And yet, the animal kingdom instinctively understands the importance of rain. That’s why in the story, Cyril the cloud feels welcome only in the world of nature.

Cyril the Lonely Cloud dropping coloured rain

The children dancing in the rainbow at the end of the story also understand the joy that Cyril brings and the importance of rain. They are still in tune with the natural world whereas the adults are not. Perhaps we can all learn something from them… As I was writing this story, another “picture” appeared in my mind: that of a lonely person who finds it hard to be accepted by others. Someone who hasn’t yet found their place in the world, but never gives up searching. We all, wherever we’re from, need a place we can call home and a sense of belonging helps us flourish; the gift of friendship is what makes us human. 

This world of ours isn’t always perfect, but let’s celebrate its beauty and wonder... come rain or shine!