Title: The Blue Umbrella
Written by: Emily Ann Davison
Illustrated by: Momoko Abe
Published by: Anderson Press
The Blue Umbrella by Emily Ann Davison and Momoko Abe is a beautiful picture book with a theme of sharing. The pastel colours give the illustrations a satisfying sense of calm. Written in the first person it is unclear whether the main character is male or female and it could easily have been either. I liked this but for the for ease of writing this review I decided to identify them as a girl.
A blue umbrella turns up on the doorstep and all that is on it is a note saying, ‘For you’.
So our young protagonist takes the umbrella for on a walk to the park with her mother even though it is not raining. Lucky she did as it starts to rain. She realises that if she suggests her mum shelters under the umbrella with her it would mean she would get wet as there would not be enough room for both of them but she suggests it anyway. This is a truly selfless act and sets the tone of this elegant picture book.
To her surprise they both fit and she believes the blue umbrella has grown bigger to accommodate them both. Soon they are both inviting more and more people to shelter under the blue umbrella. The umbrella grows bigger and bigger to keep everyone dry.
The people have fun sharing stories and their picnics under the blue umbrella. They do not even notice when the rain stops. Being sociable, chatting to each other and making new friends opens up the world to new possibilities. From this date they come together as a community. The park becomes a gathering place to meet up and escape isolation. This is such an important message and will hopefully encourage people to be more caring and climb out of their bubbles the recent pandemic left us with.
The message is one of hope for the future.
To read my review of another of Emily’s picture books please take a look here: Book Review: Every Bunny is a Yoga Bunny
You can also read my author interview with Emily on my blog here: An interview with… Emily Ann Davison.
You can buy copies of The Blue Umbrella by Emily Ann Davison and Momoko Abe and Every Bunny is a Yoga Bunny by Emily Ann Davison and Deborah Allwright from your local bookshop, or online at uk.bookshop.org, an organisation with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops.