The 6 Best Books About Clouds That Teach and Inspire

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: September 29, 2022
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Key Points

  • The best overall book about clouds is The Cloud Book.
  • There are different books about clouds, some for children, some for adults, some fiction, and some non-fiction.
  • When selecting a book, be sure to consider the purpose of the book and the reading level.

You’ve likely tilted your head back outdoors, taken in the shape of clouds, and marveled at how they transform right in front of you at least a couple of times in your life. If you’ve found yourself setting up a viewpoint on your balcony, laying out a blanket at the park, or frequenting your skylight, you have a greater love for clouds than most. Clouds aren’t always visible, but they are such a regular aspect of life that they seem to become something mundane most don’t notice regularly. However, there is nothing ordinary about them. They’re weather bringers, shapeshifters, and full of wonders.

If you’ve decided you want to know more about clouds, picking up the right book is a great first step! There are books that break down all the different types of cloud formations, helping you learn the language of the sky. Some books focus on helping you understand how clouds tell of upcoming weather, and there are books written specifically for kids to learn about clouds. There are some that are filled with photographs and others that are filled with inspiration. In the list below, you uncover these different types of books. We explain a little bit about each and who may best appreciate each one.

  1. The Cloud Book
  2. The Cloud Book
    • Learn to identify cloud types and understand how they form
    • Easy-to-follow and logical progression keeps learning challenging but not impossible
    • Moves in a sequential style that's easy to follow
    • Stunning images
    • Highly-rated
    Check Amazon
  3. Explore My World Clouds
  4. Explore My World Clouds
    • Includes fun activities the encourage outdoor play
    • Learn how weather and clouds relate
    • Learn the three main cloud types
    • Highly rated by verified customers
    • Ideal for ages 3-7 years
    Check Amazon
  5. Know Your Clouds
  6. Know Your Clouds
    • Learn to identify each cloud type and the different processes that produce them
    • Get a better understanding for how clouds and weather relate
    • Highly rated book among verified customers
    • Fascinating images to explore
    Check Amazon
  7. The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds
  8. The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds
    • Get a bit of science, history and culture in one beautiful curated read
    • Available in both hardback and paperback as well as Kindle
    • Find out where clouds come from and why they look like they do
    • Learn about the types of clouds through beautiful photography
    • Highly rated among verified customers
    Check Amazon
  9. The Book of Clouds
  10. The Book of Clouds
    • Written by a photographer and scientist with a Ph.D in cloud physics
    • John Day is known as "The Cloudman"
    • Explore a collection of amazing cloud photos as well as rainbows and various other optical effects clouds have
    • Explore the cloud chart to learn more about these scientific wonders
    Check Amazon
  11. A Cloud a Day
  12. A Cloud a Day
    • Find a bit of calm via this stunning collection
    • Gorgeous photos and inspiration
    • Waterfalls and rainbow provide additional beauty
    • Highly rated
    Check Amazon

Best Overall: The Cloud Book

The best overall book about clouds is The Cloud Book. This book helps you understand the skies. It’s written in an attractive and entertaining way that helps you understand everything you need to know about clouds. You’ll learn about topics like identifying each cloud type and the related phenomenon to understanding how clouds and their formations reveal weather patterns. Sometimes books about clouds and weather can be very scientific and difficult to understand but The Cloud Book follows a logical progression that is simple to follow, even if this is your first time picking up a book about clouds.

Since it moves in a sequence, you first start learning about low clouds and then about the high stratus clouds, and finally onto any special clouds. You get a really detailed introduction to cloud classification. You understand the history of it all (like why it came about) and all of the challenges that have arisen when it comes to naming these ever-changing forms in the sky. You get some incredible images from the Met Office’s archive along with the informative yet captivating text that keeps you hooked to the pages as you learn.

On average, this book is rated 4.5 out of five stars. Customers call it a great book if you’re into cloud-watching. For those that enjoy travel and cloud spotting, they keep a copy at home, but they also pack it up with them when they travel. One customer loves having this book on hand when cloud-watching with his children. They look up at certain cloud formations in the sky and then use this book as a resource to figure out what kind it is. This helps with their bonding and is a fun activity they enjoy as a family when they go out camping.

Best Overall
The Cloud Book
  • Learn to identify cloud types and understand how they form
  • Easy-to-follow and logical progression keeps learning challenging but not impossible
  • Moves in a sequential style that's easy to follow
  • Stunning images
  • Highly-rated
Check Amazon

Best for Kids: Explore My World Clouds

If you have a curious kiddo between ages three and seven who is excited by clouds, Explore My World Clouds is the best book for them. This book explains why clouds are in the sky, all the different types that they can explore, and provides kids with fun activities that help them enjoy and celebrate being outdoors. Your child gets to enjoy incredible photography, some simple stories, and lots of learning. The world is vast and when you’re a tiny tyke, it can feel overwhelming. With a book like this, you bring a little bit of the vastness of the universe into your home for their little minds to comprehend.

In the pages of this book, your child finds out how rain is related to clouds. For example, there is a page that has the words “Drip, drop!” and a photograph of some rain droplets falling on a puddle. This page goes on to explain that clouds are what bring the rain and that rain is what all animals and plants need to live. They talk about different types of animals and different types of plants that all need rain. Another page talks about how clouds come in lots of different sizes and shapes. It identifies the three main types: cirrus clouds, stratus clouds, and cumulus clouds.

Customers have rated this book 4.7 out of five stars. Most customers feel like this is a very good book for really young children. They remind parents that this is more geared toward preschool and kindergarten age children and although some older children could appreciate the book, it may be much too low of a reading level. One customer says that she found it perfect for students reading below grade level and she finds it to be a great introduction to clouds. She has used other books to help them expand and go deeper. It’s a simple read overall with lots of great pictures that little ones are sure to enjoy.

Best for Kids
Explore My World Clouds
  • Includes fun activities the encourage outdoor play
  • Learn how weather and clouds relate
  • Learn the three main cloud types
  • Highly rated by verified customers
  • Ideal for ages 3-7 years
Check Amazon

Best Guide Book: Know Your Clouds

For a good guidebook, you can check out this book. It’s a really handy guide that helps you learn how to read the skies. You learn a couple of different things like how to identify each type of cloud, the different processes at work that produce them, the significance each of these clouds has for the weather, and some of the optical phenomena that are produced by certain types of clouds. If you’re interested in determining not just what the different types of clouds are but their relationship to the prediction of weather, this is the book for you!

When you look up, there is an ever-changing skyscape to enjoy. But with each of those changes and each new cloud formation, the sky is letting you know what to expect when it comes to the weather. This is an 80-page cloud spotting guide that you can use to help you understand weather patterns and cloud formations. Since the sky is constantly changing, it’s sort of like turning the page of a book. You’re discovering something new with each passing moment. Cloud reading is a lost countryside art that you can rediscover to get in touch with all of the ways nature communicates with us.

This book is rated 4.4 out of five stars. Customers find that it’s an easy way to learn all about clouds and their effects on the weather. One customer says that one of his favorite activities is going out to sit on his balcony with this book to learn about clouds in a really simple and uncluttered way as he explores how the sky changes each day. One customer says that his stargazing hobby had been spoiled because there have been too many clouds for the last six months. Instead of fretting about it, he decided to learn more about them. This book is just what he needed!

Best Guidebook
Know Your Clouds
  • Learn to identify each cloud type and the different processes that produce them
  • Get a better understanding for how clouds and weather relate
  • Highly rated book among verified customers
  • Fascinating images to explore
Check Amazon

Best for Adults: The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds

This book touches on the science, history, and culture of clouds. It’s available in a hardcover or paperback version (plus you can pick it up in a Kindle version as well). This book serves as a cloud spotters guide that lets you know where clouds come from, why they look the way they do, and why they have been so fascinating to artists, poets, and even every child that has been given a crayon and a piece of paper. It’s written by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, who is not just a veteran journalist but has also been a lifelong sky watcher. Through his expertise, he shares everything there is to know about clouds.

He takes it further than understanding the science of clouds and explores the history, art, and pop culture surrounding clouds. You’ll learn about the cumulus, nimbostratus, and the striking morning glory cloud. He takes a witty and eclectic approach to this book that helps you explore these different aspects as you tour the sky alongside him. The book is illustrated with really beautiful photographs along with some line drawings that highlight some classical paintings and even some lava lamps. Whether you’re a weather watcher, an enthusiast, or just really curious, this is a fun book to explore.

Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars. They say that it’s a fantastic resource for identifying and understanding the different types of clouds. One customer purchased this book as a gift for a friend and her friend really enjoyed it. Before even gifting it over to her, she decided to take a look through the pages and found it very interesting and informative herself. She looks at it as a great tool if your interest is to understand all the different types of clouds. Another customer calls it a thorough and enjoyable read. She warns that it’s definitely for cloud-loving people and for those that are interested in the weather and history. However, she feels that if you’re curious enough, this book will definitely satisfy that curiosity.

Best for Adults
The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds
  • Get a bit of science, history and culture in one beautiful curated read
  • Available in both hardback and paperback as well as Kindle
  • Find out where clouds come from and why they look like they do
  • Learn about the types of clouds through beautiful photography
  • Highly rated among verified customers
Check Amazon

Best Photography: The Book of Clouds

With The Book of Clouds, you begin to perceive the sky as you never have before. This book is filled with the type of images that inspire all. John Day is both a photographer and a scientist and he has a Ph.D. in cloud physics. He’s actually well known as “The Cloudman.” He is the one who is responsible for this book and who introduces you to the ultimate skyscape. He’s put together a dazzling portfolio of photos that capture the different varieties and formations of clouds. You’ll discover those really soft, cotton-like cumulus clouds and some really scary yet intriguing whirling funnels.

The book also helps you discover some different optical effects that you see unfold in the sky. You’ll see rainbows, coronas, halos, and different flashes. John has a way of bringing the magic of the universe into this book for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. You’ll see images of phenomena that you may not have even known existed. For example, the sun pillar, or different shafts of bright light that stretch from the earth all the way up to the sky. You’ll also be privy to a cloud chart that explains how clouds form and gives you a glimpse into forecasting and even photographing clouds.

This book is rated 4.5 out of five stars. Customers warn that this book is not written for children — it’s more of a textbook about clouds with a wide array of magnificent photos. One customer says that it has very high-quality production with really accurate descriptions and wondrous imagery. Another customer says that it’s an easy-to-understand book with lots of pictures and explanations that land, even though she’s not well-versed when it comes to clouds. She uses it whenever she goes cloud-watching.

Best Photography
The Book of Clouds
  • Written by a photographer and scientist with a Ph.D in cloud physics
  • John Day is known as "The Cloudman"
  • Explore a collection of amazing cloud photos as well as rainbows and various other optical effects clouds have
  • Explore the cloud chart to learn more about these scientific wonders
Check Amazon

Best Inspirational: A Cloud a Day

If you’re looking for a book that doubles as information about clouds and also uplifts you as if you were a floating on one, A Cloudy a Day is a perfect choice. It was written by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, (who is responsible for another book on this list) and delivers those moments you need when everything is calm, and your breathing is slow and steady. His aim is to gift you with moments of contemplation as you appreciate the clouds in the book. With each page, you’re presented with something to consider like how you appreciate beauty. One of the questions presented is if you have never seen a certain cloud before how would you perceive it? And what if you knew that you would never be able to see it again?

This book presents these gorgeous pictures along with reminders to appreciate the innumerable wonders all around you. You also get some interesting facts like when realistic clouds first started appearing in pictures. You enjoy the bands of pastel colors that form around clouds and learn why that happens. You also explore some photos that incorporate waterfalls and rainbows and that have poetry just beneath them. This is a book meant for those quiet moments when you want to return to center and remember that this world is vast and there is so much to be grateful for.

This book is rated 4.7 out of five stars. Customers call it fun! One customer says he’s 71 years old, but it makes him feel like he’s a kid again. He calls it a great book and recommends it to anyone looking for that experience that makes them feel lighter. Another customer says that it manages to weave science, art, photography, mythology, and poetry together in a beautiful way. It’s helped him appreciate nature in a completely new way.

Best Inspirational
A Cloud a Day
  • Find a bit of calm via this stunning collection
  • Gorgeous photos and inspiration
  • Waterfalls and rainbow provide additional beauty
  • Highly rated
Check Amazon

Criteria: What to Look for in Books About Clouds

When you try to encapsulate something that’s so ever-changing in nature, it can be tricky. Some books really focus on educating you about cloud formations and also how they relate to the weather while other books give you a sense of reprieve from day-to-day life within four walls. Below, we explain some criteria to consider before making your final purchase.

The Book’s Purpose

Consider whether you want to get scientific about clouds. There are certainly some complex texts that are not for the novice or regular cloud watcher but there are definitely some amazing books that help you understand the different cloud types and can help you name them when you spot them. These books are written in an easy-to-understand way, and they don’t get too complex (which can be really off-putting if you’re really curious about clouds but you’re finding the text too dry and technical).

If you’re more the type of person who is fascinated by clouds and just wants to get a better grasp on how they form, how they got the names they have, and what the implications of all those formations are, pick up a book that’s educational in a fun, engaging way. On the other hand, if you’re looking to gift a book about clouds to a child, you’ll need to pick up something that’s more at their level. These types of books keep the text simple and include photographs and illustrations that help to catch the attention of young, curious minds.

There are also books that are more photo focused, allowing you to explore the different formations as they’ve been captured at just the right moment by photographers. These could maybe add a little bit of inspiration to your life. When you’re caught in the normal rat race of life, rushing to different appointments, taking care of your kids, handling all your work tasks, and waking up to the sound of a blaring alarm every morning, it can be hard to forget that you live under this gorgeous, endless sky filled with natural wonders. A book that’s meant to be uplifting and inspirational can serve as the perfect antidote to help you get back into a place where you remember that life is so much bigger than just what you see in front of you. Sometimes, you just have to look up.

The Reading Level

Reading level is so important when it comes to children because if it’s too complex, they may feel disappointed that they can’t follow, and if it’s much too simple, they may feel less interested. Everyone has the ideal reading level and when you hit that sweet spot, that’s when you become most engaged. Some books are more focused on photography and illustrations with short snips of text while others are more text-heavy with a few pictures strewn throughout. When selecting the right book, make sure that it appeals to the reader, whether that’s you or a loved one!

The 3 Different Types of Books About Clouds

There are lots of different books about clouds, much too many for us to cover in this article. However, there are three different types of books about clouds that you can consider picking up.

For Children

If it’s for children, it has to be the right reading level. These books tend to be filled with different illustrations and photographs which helped to engage young readers. They’re usually also filled with lots of facts that are explained in a very friendly way so that kids can pick up on them without feeling too overwhelmed.

For Adults

For adults, the books about clouds are endless. You can pick up a lot of scientific books that talk about the different clouds and get you better acquainted and you can also pick up something that’s a lot more complex if you are already well-versed when it comes to cloud formations. You might even pick up a novel that centers around characters that love clouds. We highlighted a book in this list that is meant to be uplifting. As an adult, you know that life is filled with lots of peaks and valleys and that sometimes you need a little bit of inspiration. Whatever book about clouds you need, trust that somebody has already written it.

Non-Fiction vs. Fiction

Ultimately, you are going to have to choose between a fiction or non-fiction book about clouds. You could also pick up both! Non-fiction books about clouds are really going to focus on teaching you all the ins and outs, touching on rain and on the different formations, on the appropriate names, and also the implications of clouds. That means you’re going to get into the weather as well. This could be a great jumping-off point to explore the skies, not just the clouds you’re able to perceive when the sun is out but also what happens when the moon comes out.

With fiction works about clouds, you get to explore a different aspect. It enters more of a philosophical arena, where you can learn different lessons that can help you feel more inspired and more engaged with your life. Clouds have a lot to teach us and with fiction novels, authors get to incorporate more concepts instead of sticking to the rigidity of facts. If that’s more your jam, then you can certainly find tons of books that incorporate clouds and what they mean in relation to living life as a human being in current times.

Up Next, Explore More Books That May Interest You:

About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The 6 Best Books About Clouds That Teach and Inspire FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why purchase a book about clouds?

Why not purchase a book about clouds? There’s so much to learn about these shapeshifting things that you might wonder why you’re not already curious about them. But seriously, if you have ever looked up at the clouds and found formations that look like your favorite cartoons or that even look like real life faces, you may get curious. If that curiosity has ever touched you, it’s definitely worth learning more about clouds.

Is there a book about clouds for children?

More than one! We did highlight one of the best cloud books for children in this list, but you should know that there are so many others to be discovered. There’s a reason why kids incorporate clouds as part of their first drawings and it would be wonderful to encourage them to explore more about clouds and how they affect their environment.

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