Sunday, October 28, 2018

Review - The Big Umbrella

The Big Umbrella
by Amy June Bates & Juniper Bates
illustrated by Amy June Bates
Date: 2018
Publisher: Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

In the tradition of Alison McGhee’s Someday, beloved illustrator Amy June Bates makes her authorial debut alongside her eleven-year-old daughter with this timely and timeless picture book about acceptance.

By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have.

Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.

Lush illustrations and simple, lyrical text subtly address themes of inclusion and tolerance in this sweet story that accomplished illustrator Amy June Bates cowrote with her daughter, Juniper, while walking to school together in the rain.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

What we have here is an obvious swipe at anti-immigration folks, although I don't know how many kids are going to pick up on that. The big umbrella just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and even though some people think that there won't be enough room under it, there always is.

The pictures are rather cute, especially with some of the more fanciful elements (which I wasn't expecting, but liked anyway).

The book isn't so much a story as an idea, but if it helps get kids thinking about this issue, then it's probably a good thing.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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