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Highly recommended for all: 'Clarry and the Little White Cloud' by Fay Tran

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:56 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
I've just read a very powerful little book which makes the message of the damage to children and their reading experiences crystal clear as a consequence of the approach of reading instruction at school.

Fay Tran's heartfelt message is cleverly interwoven in a very short story about Clarry who loves life, has a wonderful family, is really looking forward to learning to read - only to find it's not quite so easy as he thought it would be. We learn why this is the case throughout the story - and the effect this has on Clarry which we can see through the illustrations - including Clarry's illustrations! This is a book for children and for adults alike.

This is my personal review and my recommendation which I sent direct to author, Fay Tran:

Well, I have just read through your book, Fay, ‘Clarry and the Little White Cloud’ and by the end I had goosebumps from top to bottom.

This is a book that every student-teacher, teacher-trainer and teacher should be given to read.

Plus, all the politicians and detractors from phonics.

Plus, all the Reading Recovery personnel and teachers who persist with multi-cueing guessing strategies.

As I read it, the faces of children I have known, children just like Clarry, real children, flashed through my mind. So many of them. So much unnecessary misery and loss of self-esteem and loss of life-chances.

I inherited such children in various schools in various contexts.

I don’t get why others don’t get this scenario and why they persist with reading strategies that set children off on an entirely wrong trajectory for their reading profile.

Fay – this is a wonderful little book with a very, very clear, fundamentally important message.

It would be a wonderful book for children, but actually the book is very much an adult book, for adults, for all of us, to know it just as it is in millions of schools to this day.

Well said and well done.

I love the clear illustrations – they speak volumes from the child’s perspective.

This book should be on the reading lists of all teacher-training establishments.

Now let’s get it publicized as much as possible.

This book is very timely as recently worries were flagged up about a BBC documentary, 'B is for Book', which featured a few children just like Clarry!

For this reason, I've cross-referenced this thread with the thread featuring the BBC documentary, see here:


Re: Highly recommended for all: 'Clarry and the Little White Cloud' by Fay Tran

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:58 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
This is the information about 'Clarry and the Little White Cloud':

The book is now available from the iTunes store as an iBook.

It is not yet in bookshops but can be ordered direct from Fay at

See details below, from Fay’s website at ... hite-cloud

Clarry and the Little White Cloud

By Fay Tran

Clarry enjoyed his year at pre-school. He loved listening to stories and looking at books. He couldn’t wait to start primary school so that he could learn to read.

But learning to read proved very difficult for Clarry, even though he practised his Golden Words list and his take-home books every night. Clarry became very unhappy at school and decided that he was too stupid to learn to read.

This children's picture book tells the story of a little boy very unhappy because he struggling to learn to read at school. He is comforted by his little dog and an imaginary cloud. When a new principal changes the way reading is taught at school, Clarry does learn to read and is overcome with joy.

The message, of course, is for teachers, school administrators and parents. Clarry's difficulties are not the result of his bad behaviour but rather incorrect teaching at his school.

Reading level - Grade 2 up.

And of course the Learning2read website is well worth exploring.

Re: Highly recommended for all: 'Clarry and the Little White Cloud' by Fay Tran

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:41 am
by Yvonne Meyer
I think Fay Tran's, "Clarry and the Little White Cloud" should be in everywhere there are children struggling to learn to read. I highly recommend those who work in the remedial reading area have this book in their waiting room for parents and carers to read to get that light bulb moment of understand what the child is experiencing.

Re: Highly recommended for all: 'Clarry and the Little White Cloud' by Fay Tran

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:13 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Yvonne, I think your suggestion is brilliant so I just posted it via the 'Parents Forum', see here:


Fay Tran has written a very clever, very important, and very heartfelt short story for children and adults alike. Every teacher and parent should read it.

See here for the full review of (and how to get hold of), 'Clarry and the Little White Cloud - How Clarry learned to read':


Yvonne Meyer has just made the most excellent suggestion of the need for this book to be in every surgery and place where parents might have children learning to read and/or struggling to read. It is THAT powerful a message!

If you would be so kind, perhaps you could buy a copy or two and take them to your local surgery, nursery, pre-school, community hall, school, library - wherever you think that this little book would be of value.

Perhaps you could send one to your local politician and radio and TV producers - now there's a thought!

Ooh - and how about school inspectors and advisors - and the list grows and grows!