The Cloudspotter by Tom McLaughlin


The well-known cartoonist Tom McLaughlin created a wonderful original story about loneliness and friendship deftly illustrated by himself. A book that introverted readers will surely enjoy and those of us who have spent at least a day of our lives gazing at the clouds will find charming and lovable. The author Oliver Jeffers has praised The Cloudspotter as ‘a winner of a book about teh power of drawing and storytelling’.

The Cloudspotter was a young boy whose real name was Franklin and who would love spending his days watching clouds. Actually, the clouds were his only friends. He could see on them whole adventures taking place up in the sky and that way he didn’t feel so lonely. He imagined swimming in a sea with giant jellyfish or being the king at a cloud castle. One day, the Scruffy dog appeared and everything changed in the Cloudspotter’s life. At first, the young boy felt threatened by the dog because he thought that the Scruffy Dog wanted to take his clouds. But the dog didn’t seem to care about the clouds at all, he would just follow the Cloudspotter wherever he went. Oh! That bothersome dog was ruining his fun and his imaginary play with the clouds! Then, a brilliant idea dawned on the Cloudspotter. He would get rid of that annoying Scruffy Dog and so did he. At last he was alone. He wasn’t pleased as he expected, though. He missed Scruffy Dog and it occurred to him for the first time that the dog was not interested in his clouds all this time but rather in becoming friends with him. After all, two cloudspotters are always better than one!


It is recommended for preschoolers or ages 3-6 but we believe all children would enjoy reading it alike. Below you can find a link to an activity sheet for the book by Bloomsbury Publishing and a video with the famous actor Tom Hardy narrating the story to his friends with his companion that resembles The Scruffy Dog a lot!

Click to access cloudspotter_activity_sheet.pdf


About the author:

Tom McLaughlin is an author illustrator from Devon. After graduating from Falmouth College of Art he worked from 10 years as a political cartoonist for The Western Morning News. Since going freelance he has been a animation designer for a number of TV shows, as well as an occasional columnist for The Guardian online. He started in the world of children’s publishing by illustrating other people’s books before turning his hand to writing. He has written and illustrated for Bloomsbury, Puffin, Scholastic, OUP, Walker to name but a few. His books has been nominated for countless awards and have been translated into over 10 different languages. He lives in Exeter with his wife and children and can often be found staring out of a window with a cup of tea. (excerpt from author’s bio on his website


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