Review Blog

Mar 27 2015

The umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

cover image

Book Island, 2015. ISBN 9780994109859
(Age: Preschool) Recommended. Wordless picture book. World view. One blustery day the little dog finds a bright red umbrella in the garden. It whisks him off into the sky, above the swirling leaves and swaying trees, over his little house receding into the distance. He flies over the clouds, looking down upon the African plains with its herd of elephants, countless flamingo and hippos in the river, then finds he is surrounded by a group of crocodiles, before being whisked off into the air again, where he spies camels and desert dwellers. Then he is floating upon the sea, using his umbrella as a boat, and afterwards views life beneath the waves, and finds himself in a waterspout from a passing whale. Off to an island with huge turtles, then across a continent with majestic rainforests and clutches of human inhabitants, until he reaches the colder climes where he sees polar bears, penguins and seals.
With only the pictures to guide the readers, they will find themselves transported around the world, flying from one continent to another, recognising some of the animals and the habitats they enjoy. Many readers will take delight in recognising the images and want to talk about the pictures and what they mean for them, while others will ask questions and absorb the information given. It will be fun to look closely at the images with a group of children, using clues to locate the continent the animals are on, perhaps using a world map to chart the dog's journey.
For introducing geographical terms: river, ocean, mountains and so on, this book will be an immeasurable help as it even includes climactic conditions: storm, cyclone, wind and rain. Truly, each picture tells a thousand stories.
Fran Knight

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