FICTION

The Elephant’s Umbrella

Tiny Owl. Feb. 2020. 24p. Tr ISBN 9781910328545.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 1–This slight British import (originally published in Farsi in 2017) tells the story of an altruistic elephant who loves his umbrella and uses it to shelter other forest creatures from the rain. The wind whips it away, however, sending the umbrella first to a leopard and then a bear. Those animals only want it for themselves, and the umbrella catches the wind to find a place where it can do the most good…with his friend the elephant. In case readers miss the point, there is a postscript that tells us the story is about sharing. Khodai’s whimsical animals and bright, collage-like illustrations have a 1970’s aesthetic. A black brush-stroked amorphous shape is on nearly every page, resembling a shadow or cloud.
VERDICT A similar title with more staying power is The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates.

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