In my elementary school library we had a shelf of thin, hardback picture books. The had a dreamy-look (a la Lisa Frank,) which makes me think 80s/90s.
I loved many of the collection (which I’m not sure how was grouped together, if an author did all the adaptations/books?), but there was certainly a version of The Nutcracker, too.
The book I’m after had two children and a castle built in/on clouds. They might have been elfin, and we’re trouble makers or up to no good, and we’re following a red ribbon through the clouds down to earth. It was in the style of Salvador Dali sort of?
I can’t help much with content: if there was any, I didn’t read when I poured over it. This book was a big deal to me as a kid. Reading was hard, and this one let me imagine the story myself. Eventually I became an avid, able reader and this one got lost. I’d love to find it for my own daughter now to share it with her.