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THE GREEN UMBRELLA by Jackie Azúa Kramer


by Jackie Azúa Kramer ; illustrated by Maral Sassouni

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-7358-4218-2
Publisher: NorthSouth

A pink elephant emotionally attached to an umbrella finds the same object has many uses for a series of animals he encounters one rainy day.

It begins when a hedgehog tells the elephant, "Excuse me, I believe you have my boat." The hedgehog's story, about an eventful journey at sea in the umbrella is lovely, but the elephant tells the hedgehog, "I'm sure you’re mistaken." The scene repeats with a cat who believes the umbrella is a tent for camping, a bear that insists it’s a flying machine, and others. Politely but firmly, the elephant insists that the umbrella belongs to him, even sharing his own unorthodox uses of the tool, but he is polite enough to invite the animals to stay out of the rain and under the umbrella. The story ends, of course, in friendship and a picnic as well as the understanding that imagination can infuse the most mundane things with deep meaning. Illustrated in spreads that alternate the rainy-day narrative in vignettes with full-bleed spreads that allow the flight-of-fancy retellings to render a deeper mood, the animals’ stories are delightfully descriptive: there's "the salty spray of whales" and “Northern Lights [that] glimmer above rolling hills." While the elephant stands firm in holding onto that umbrella, each of the animals is allowed a brief moment in the spotlight to tell a whimsical tale.

The lesson about sharing and generosity is elegantly wrapped around lovely language.

(Picture book. 4-8)