Review: The Umbrella by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert


The Umbrella by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert

A wordless story told in vivid images, this book will whirl readers into an adventure.  A small dog finds a red umbrella and sails up in the autumn breeze into the air.  He walks on the clouds, visits Africa with its elephants and alligators, yikes!  Off he heads into the air again, carried this time to the expanse of the ocean where his umbrella serves as a boat.  Until that is, he sinks down below the surface only to be blown high from a whale’s spout.  He is carried into the jungle in a strong breeze and then caught by a pelican and lifted higher.  Then down onto the snowy peak to be met with the applause of seals.  His umbrella becomes a sled, sweeping past polar bears and then up into the air again.  Bats join him in flight until down below amid the autumn leaves, his house appears.  He puts the umbrella back where he found it and where a cat who has watched him come and go just might have an adventure too.

There is a wildness to this book that is as refreshing as a strong autumnal wind.  It comes from the wandering of the breezes and the wildlife that the little dog experiences.  The book captures his emotions with great skill from the delight of sledding down snowy hills to the utter exhaustion at the end of his travels. 

This is a book that does not need words.  The images capture the story fully, allowing readers to create their own story from the expanse of world that they get to see.  Children will revel in walking on top of clouds, of meeting elephants, of escaping arrows, and of finding the way back home. 

A perfect read for fall that will inspire imagination, this book opens and closes with gusts of wind and swirls of autumn leaves.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Lemniscaat.