The Umbrella

HarperCollins/Clarion. Mar. 2023. 48p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780358447726.
PreS-Gr 2–The exceptional duo behind Stick and Stone are back with another unmissable and upbeat collaboration that begins with seemingly endless rain. Brief, rhyming text—“Dim. Grim. Drip. Drop. Nonstop”—captures the gray and dispiriting mood. However, rain or shine, a young child must walk the dog. Donning their best rain gear, the duo venture outside and come across a free yellow umbrella while browsing in a shop. Their excitement is short-lived, when the umbrella tears into pieces on the journey home. More rainy days follow and they make a wonderful discovery: the pieces of yellow cloth have bloomed into brand new umbrellas! The child collects the umbrellas, distributing them throughout the community; this clears the clouds and spreads sunshine in the process. Ferry’s masterful use of limited text expertly captures the emotions of the young girl, the atmosphere of the town, as well as the rhythm of the rain. Lichtenheld’s expressive illustrations pair perfectly with the text, depicting the community in shades of gray before featuring pops of yellow. Pair with Amy June Bates’s The Big Umbrella and Linda Ashman’s When the Storm Comes for additional uplifting storm and community-centered titles.
VERDICT Simple and superb—a must-have for any collection.

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