Do you remember, as a child, lying in the grass on a warm summer day, looking up at the sky, watching the clouds change formation as the wind tossed them across the blue landscape?
This is the magic that's captured in the charming little picture book,
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw, published in 1947.
The graphics in the book are simple white shapes against a blue background. The back cover entices you with the verbiage, “Sometimes it looked like Spilt Milk. But it wasn't Spilt Milk, Sometimes it looked like a Bird or an Ice Cream Cone or a Birthday Cake or an Angel.
But it wasn't a Bird or an Ice Cream Cone or a Birthday Cake or an Angel. What was it?”
The answer to the mystery, of course, is that “it” is a cloud. The suggested age level for this book is from 4 -7, but I have used this book in my toddler classes with children as young as 2 ½ as an inspirational tool for some very simple art projects in which a child can create his or her own cloud scene.
Here are a few simple fun activities to while away a cloudy day:
Collage - Paint with glue onto blue construction paper or cardstock, then attach stretched out pieces of cotton balls to the sticky places.
(Keep some inexpensive brushes with your art supplies that you use only for glue applications, because after using them for glue, they will no longer be useful for paint. But do wash them out after each use.)
Shiny star stickers can be applied to transform the picture into a night scene.
Paint 1 – On blue construction paper, drop white acrylic painted that's been watered down a bit, onto the center of the page. (The water addition will make the paint look more like milk.) Blow the paint around on the paper with a straw or fold the paper in half and then reopen it.
Paint 2 - Do a reverse technique. Dab or drip heavily watered down blue watercolor paint onto white construction paper or watercolor paper. Blow the paint around with a straw.
Felt Board – Glue a sheet of blue felt onto a piece of cardboard. Cut out random shapes of white felt. The white felt will stick to the blue felt without any further adhesives.
Encourage your child to tell you what his or her “cloud” shapes look like. You could even staple the pages together to make a cloud book.
It Looked Like Spilt Milk is such a great book to add to your library of picture books. And there are actually used copies of the book for sale at Amazon.com starting at one cent!