February 10 – Umbrella Day

Happy Umbrella Day!

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The Umbrella written and illustrated by Ingred & Dieter Schubert (2010)

This wordless picture book follows the adventures of a little black dog and a red umbrella. The umbrella whisks the dog over the houses and up into the sky where he sees clouds shaped like animals. He sails through a hole in the clouds over an African range filled with animals. The dog has to fight off the crocodiles with his umbrella. Then he’s taken to the sea where he sits in the umbrella like a boat. A huge wave comes over him and the little black dog is riding the umbrella under the sea where he meets more fascinating animals until he is blown out of the sea by a large whale. He lands on an tropical island an sees even more animals. But he is chased away by spears flying in the air and he is carried away by a large pelican. Then he lands on the top of a snowy mountain and uses his umbrella like a sled to come down the mountain. He is picked up by a wild snow storm and is lifted back into the night sky among the bats, where he eventually glides back to his home with the leaves in the wind.

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The Umbrella Queen written by Shirin Yim Bridges and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo (2008)

Every year in a village in Thailand, the woman who has painted the most beautiful umbrella that year is crowned the Umbrella Queen and leads the villagers in a huge umbrella parade. In that village was a little girl named Noot who wanted to paint umbrellas more than anything else in the world. She had watched her father build the umbrella frames, and helped her grandmother make the paper to cover the umbrellas, but she wanted to paint the umbrellas like her mother did. One day she copied everything her mother painted. Her painting was so good, that the next day she was given five umbrellas to paint, her own paint set, and a corner in the garden to work in. Noot painted butterflies and elephants. But Noot’s mother was displeased, she was supposed to be painting butterflies and flowers. So every day for the rest of the year, Noot painted butterflies and flowers on the umbrellas, but she painted elephants on very small umbrellas to decorate her window sill. Soon it was time to get ready for the  New Year celebrations. And this year, the King was coming to choose the Umbrella Queen. The King walked up and down the streets admiring all the umbrellas and cam upon the small umbrellas in Noot’s window. He was so pleased with Noot’s elephants that he chose her to be the Umbrella Queen because she paints from her heart.

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The Umbrella written and illustrated by Jan Brett (2004)

Carlos takes his umbrella into the rain forest to look for animals. When he doesn’t see any, he decides to climb a tree to get a better look. He leaves is open umbrella at the base of the tree. Water drips off the leaves of the tree and fills the umbrella. While Carlos is up in the tree looking for animals, many animals come down to investigate his umbrella. First a small tree frog jumps into the umbrella. Then a toucan joins him. Later they are joined by a kinkajou, a baby tapir, a quetzal bird, a frisky monkey, and a jaguar. The umbrella is much too crowded and all the animals are crying for the others to get out, but they all stay in the umbrella and float in the water. Then a tiny hummingbird flies down to rest on the umbrella… and KER-SPLASH! all the animals fall out and swim to the riverbank while the umbrella drifts back to the shore. At the top of the giant fig tree, Carlos is disappointed because he has not found any animals and decides to climb back down. He picks up his umbrella and walks back home.

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