The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates

[Review Copy Courtesy of Paula Wiseman Book/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers]

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The Big Umbrella is a beautiful and reassuring picture book about friendship, inclusiveness, and shelter from the rain. Set in a background of muted blues, grays, browns, and green — the contrast of the bright, red umbrella with its warm and adorable smile is a huge win that warms your heart.

This beautiful umbrella meets readers on a rainy day. We see it waiting patiently by the front door as a young child grabs it on their way outside. Told in very simple and clear sentences, we learn that this red umbrella likes to help, likes to give people shelter, and likes bringing people together.

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From The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates. ©2018 Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Image courtesy of Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

The umbrella also likes you just the way you are and wants you to come in from the rain. Don’t worry about whether or not there will be enough room, there always will be.

There’s a calming and happy tone to The Big Umbrella and a wonderful mix of realism with fantasy that makes it engaging, uplifting, and full of wonder. It expertly walks the line of impossible and possible.

There is no conflict in The Big Umbrella. There’s nothing sad or scary or anything other than the joy of caring for and including all people.

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From The Big Umbrella. ©2018 Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Image courtesy of Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

The last page is of many different kinds of families, from many different walks of life, all spending time together at a park. It makes you smile and want to go hang out with them.

The Big Umbrella shows some of the best things about life and humanity in a universal and tender way.

It’s a wonderful book to read to little ones. The image of the red umbrella is in itself so charming and magnetic that it had my littlest one excitedly asking me to read it to him immediately when he saw it.

There’s something so charming and lovely about this book that it isn’t only the children that want to read it again and again and again. Even after reading it regularly for weeks, it never gets old and always feels like a welcome break.

It’s a short read that is perfect for when you’re tired, easy for little ones to memorize (which they’ll do – and it is beyond precious and hopeful to hear them “read” it back to you), and a perfect beginning reader picture book for older children. Watching my eldest son read it to my youngest one brought me an incredible amount of joy and I am grateful they were able to have this experience together.

It’s an ideal book to read before bedtime for adults and children alike. It sends everyone off to sleep thinking of happy things.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous and meditative picture book about being inclusive that only models how goodness, kindnesses, and love — The Big Umbrella is an excellent choice.

Recommended Ages 3 to 7. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books February 2018. 40 pages. ISBN: 9781534406582 Fiction.

Where to Get it:

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Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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