The Umbrella - Jan Brett (2004)

        Lush rainforests are quite a sight to see. Don't worry, if you can't see one up close. Open this book and you will be right there.

An Animal Safari

        A boy (Carlos) walks into cloud forest, with his umbrella (Not just any ordinary umbrella, it's a picturesque umbrella, with a sturdy, curvy wooden stem adjoined with stitched huge green leaves). Carlos climbs up a tree, leaving his umbrella down, in the hope of seeing the animals.

         When Carlos is up in the tree, with no animals in sight, his umbrella gets an unexpected guest. A tree frog occupies the puddle, collected from dripping rain, in his upside down umbrella. Soon Froggy is joined by Toucan, Kinkajou, Baby Tapir and the list goes up to Jaguar and finally, Hummingbird.

After all the limited space constraints in the umbrella, who finally gets the place in umbrella? Is Carlos able to see at least one animal, he wished to see?

My Comments:

         It has been three years, since I read 'The Mitten' by Jan Brett, to my kids. So, when we read this book last week, my first thought was "Why didn't I read more of this author's books already?". Because, everything my kids love in a book, (repetitive storytelling, stunning visuals, unique animals that does not often occur in other books) are all in this book.

          How many shades of green, could you find in a color palette? I believe, Jan Brett's extensive artworks have created every shade in this book, that captures the beauty of leafy world. The animal camouflage in the endpapers and vine shaped frames in each page can arrest your eyes, for sure. But, what made me wonder most, is the leaf shaped window pane in the ends of each page. While one shows what Carlos is doing, the other pane sneak peeks what is going to happen next. Advancing a story in three different levels in a single page is an impressive concept.

          On the other hand, the storyline of this book is very similar to the book 'The Mitten', except for the setting and animals. But, my kids are not going to bother about it. With the lovely iterative storytelling and vibrant pictures, they can endlessly love this book.

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