The Blue Umbrella

The Blue Umbrella
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
March 14, 2023
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Kindness is a magical thing, and in this gentle picture book kindness comes from somewhere unexpected. When a seemingly ordinary blue umbrella is offered to provide shelter from the rain, it grows to accommodate anyone in need.

It was not supposed to rain on the day that a small blue umbrella showed up on the little girl’s doorstep with a note saying “For you.” But  she decided to take it along just in case. And despite the odds, it did rain. Seeing that her mom was getting soaked, the girl invites her to come under the umbrella too. At first it seemed like they couldn’t possibly both fit, but then something magical happened…  
The umbrella grew. So they offered shelter to more and more neighbors. What should have been a tight squeeze was instead enough room for everyone. 
This story is a true celebration of kindness and sharing, with poignant words from Emily Ann Davison and charming illustrations from Momoko Abe, and is sure to become a favorite for young readers.

Editor review

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A young girl finds a mysterious umbrella on her doorstep that is tagged only with a note "For you". She takes it with her when she goes on a walk with her mother, even though it is not supposed to rain. A storm does blow up, and the girl is glad of the umbrella, which she shares with her mother even though it doesn't seem big enough. Surprisingly, it is, and it seems to grow as the two meet more and more people caught in the rain. It grows to be as big as a picnic shelter, it seems, and everyone underneath it is glad not only of the protection but also of the feeling of community engendered in gathering under it. When the rain stops, the umbrella shrinks, and everyone goes on their way, but the feeling of togetherness remains now that people are no longer strangers, and the girl enjoys her new friends.

Good Points
The digitally rendered illustrations have a crayon or chalk feel to them, with nicely saturated colors, and lots of cool green and blue to echo the rain. This is a great book to pair with Ashman's Rain, Bluemle's Tap Tap Boom Boom, and Bates' The Big Umbrella when it's too wet to go outside and do anything else!

The message of helping is a good one, and I especially appreciated that the little girl realized that her offer of sharing the umbrella ended up being good for her as well, since it meant that she now had a community interested in her and in each other on which she could rely. Like Murphy's How Kind, this is a good example of how to spread kindness, which is a lesson that we all need these days!
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