We can all look back into our childhoods and remember that special “thing” that got us through our day. A blanket, a doll, or a cuddly puppy; whatever it happened to be, we were convinced it was the most precious thing in the whole wide world.
In author/illustrator Chris Robertson’s latest picture book, My Yellow Umbrella, that special “thing” turns out to be a faithful, unassuming yellow umbrella that is as precious to a little girl as her very first doll.
The book opens to a gorgeous day that is “not raining, cloudy or the least bit overcast.” It is, according to the little girl, the perfect day for a yellow umbrella.
With a twinkle in her eye and a song in her heart, the girl uses her umbrella to shield herself from the summer sun and draw a funny picture in the sand. She holds the handle to her lips like a microphone and sings her favorite song to her umbrella, and she even imagines turning it over and huddling inside it as she floats serenely down a make-believe stream to who-in-the-world knows where.
This is one of the simplest, most adorable books I’ve had the privilege of reading in a very long time. It is dedicated to the precious children of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Mr. Robertson has filled its lively pages with exuberant prose that is just the tiniest bit bittersweet.
The carefree little girl’s universal features leave readers feeling like they’ve just returned from a visit with an old familiar friend, and the pages sport thick coats of “primary” colors that might well have come right out of a crayon box.
My Yellow Umbrella will have a digital release on October 15, 2013, and a paperback release a few months later. Stay tuned for the paperback release!
When you add this beautiful book to your classroom or personal collection, you’ll be getting a book that can serve as a story-starter for discussions about imaginary play and individual creativity. It might fuel the imaginations of budding illustrators in an early morning art class, or it might even persuade future writers with ready pencils to write stories about their own “yellow umbrellas.”
By the way, this book gets the “Picture Book Depot Outstanding Illustrations” award. Once you open the pages, you’ll know why. Congratulations!
Best wishes and happy umbrellas,