High in the Clouds
Author: Paul McCartney, Geoff Dunbar & Philip Ardagh
Publication Date: Oct 3 2005
Publisher: Faber & Faber Ltd (World ex USA) / Penguin (USA)
When Wirral the Squirrel is forced to leave his woodland home, destroyed by the expansion plans of the evil Gretsch, he vows to find the fabled land of Animalia, where all the animals are said to live in freedom and without fear.
Aided and abetted by Froggo the hot-air-ballooning frog, Wilhamina the plucky red squirrel, and Ratsy the streetwise rodent, Wirral's personal quest turns into a full-blown plan to save enslaved animals everywhere - a plan which is fraught with danger.
High in the Clouds is a rich, meandering, often funny tale. While the illustrations feel somewhat wooden and the ending slightly pat, young audiences will delight in the clever wordplay and smartly-drawn comic characters like Alfredo, the weightlifting flea. The story abounds with literary references: an allusion to James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small, a fat, bowler-hat-clad rat named Wackford (after the eponymous headmaster from Nicholas Nickleby), and an animal assembly scene straight out of Kipling's The Jungle Book. The Independant