From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3—This wordless tale begins with a little girl dressing for a day at the beach though it is clearly snowing. Even the cat is surprised when she picks up her "un-brella" and goes outside. It is here that the title of the story becomes clear. Wherever she opens the un-brella, sunshine flows and grass, flowers, and insects appear. She spends a fine winter day walking in her bathing suit, sunbathing, and swimming. As the season changes to summer, she is again at home. But now, dressed in winter gear, she opens her un-brella and spends the day making snow angels, ice-skating, and building snowmen. The book ends with the girl watching rain fall, leaving readers to wonder what kind of "brella" she will use now. Franson's illustrations resemble paper cutouts although they are done using a computer. The crisp, clean pictures have bright colors, exceptional detail, fun patterns, sly repetition, and heaps of whimsy. They are irresistible. The expressions on the faces of the cat, girl, snowmen, goldfish, penguins, and other animals clearly advance the story. Pair this title with other wordless books like Raymond Briggs's The Snowman
(Random, 1986) or Alexandra Day's "Carl" books (Farrar) and allow creative storytelling to reign.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
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This wordless tale stars a little girl whose magic umbrella allows her to reverse the weather, but only underneath its canopy. On a wintry day, she goes outside dressed in a swimsuit, flippers, and sunglasses. Umbrella in hand, she carries summer with her, cutting a green, flower-laden path through the snowy scenes. Later, spring arrives. Now, the girl bundles up for her journey outdoors, where she finds wintry fun beneath the umbrellauntil, home once more, she uses its magic to build a snowman in her bedroom. Franson's collage art, combining flat, bright colors and wild patterns, will readily allow children to follow the sequence of events. There is, however, one distracting element: the girl's cartoonish goggle-eyes, similar to those of Betty Boop or Dora the Explorer. Still, preschoolers are not likely to mind the resemblance and will admire the character's power over her world. Adults will find opportunities to talk about seasons and opposites here. Cummins, Julie