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Un-Brella Hardcover – April 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; First Edition edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596431792
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596431799
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 umbrella—until, 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

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Delightful story line and beautiful illustrations!
Brita A. Lindstrom
Wonderful illustrations and full of magical imagination for us all, A book you can read over and over and find more fun ways to use your imagination.
John L. Franson
My nephews, ages 4 & 2, absolutely loved the book!!
lp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By anjanette seewer-reynolds on September 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a visual delight! The author is a graphics design professor and he definitely knows his stuff. The story is completely visual, with absolutely no text, and my kids (ages 5 & 6) continually get a thrill out of "reading" it out loud to me. The gist of the story is that a little girl has a special umbrella that creates weather under it that is the opposite of the actual weather -- so she wears a swimsuit in the snow and makes a sunny path of green grass and flowers wherever she walks, etc., etc. It's simultaneously gorgeous and cute.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Todd M. Smith on November 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Un-Brella is a delightful little picture book. Scott does a wonderful job telling the story without writing a single word. I have seen some of Scott's other work and personally own some of his illustrations. I would highly recommend this book for children and parents to enjoy together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on June 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very cute wordless picture book about a girl with a magic umbrella, who turns winter into spring and then summer back into winter. It seems easy for young children to follow - the pre-k niece was delighted with it. (I test drove this book before giving it to her teacher, of course!)

Some people object to wordless picture books on principle, because they are unfamiliar with them. This is what I have to say to that:

Wordless picture books are PERFECT for pre-readers. It gives them the ability to read a book - REALLY own the experience instead of just "playing" as they must do when they can't understand the words - on their own. It gives them practice in putting together stories and working out details from context. And it allows them to be the expert at some activity that is usually restricted to adults and older children in their life - reading a book.

By that same token, they are also ideal for early readers. It's non-threatening, and yet it's still a way to practice following a storyline. Reading is more than just mechanically putting together sounds and reciting them, after all. Many people are impressed by a five year old who can say, word-perfect, some complex piece he or she "reads" from a page, but later they find out that the child has no idea what they just read and wasn't thinking of reading as an exercise in gleaning meaning from text, but merely as reciting memorized sounds and letter combinations. Working out the story for themselves from a book with no words is a wonderful way to practice this sort of "reading for meaning".

But what of the child who stumbles in reading? Well, the child who stumbles when reading but can tell you WHAT they read is light-years ahead of the one who sounds pretty but doesn't grasp the meaning.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Reynolds on May 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a charming and clever picture book that reaches many ages for many reasons. In each scene, you can look for the daisy or daisies that are sometimes hard to find (even inside the front cover!). All the many drawn snowflakes are actually different. The story plot line unfolds easily and imaginatively as the little girl uses her magical unbrella to make the weather she wants, where she wants it and when she wants it. The art work is really beautiful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lp on April 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My nephews, ages 4 & 2, absolutely loved the book!! The pictures were so engaging and they continually pointed out each detail of the book. We have "read" it several times, with the boys being more excited each time. I simply ask questions and they are so eager to answer! I think they enjoy a book on "their" reading level. The art is beautiful and the idea of a book in which the story is different every-time is priceless to children. Well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rita S. Ricks on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This delightful wordless book had my grandsons telling me a very detailed story and pointing out the reoccurring themes as they experienced the adventure they were viewing. "Let's read it again!" says it all for this outstanding graphically designed book. I can't wait to give a copy to my granddaughters to see their enchantment and hear their interpretation of the Un-brella. Bravo! It's a winner!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SLO on January 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a treasured family's favorite. It contains no words but the art is amazing the graphic design of this book is spot on. I love looking at the pictures the kids love looking at the pictures. It's so fun to make a new story and renamed the little girl, rename the kitty ... everytime you read this book you have a brand-new book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tolmark on December 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Our poor copy has been loved to pieces over the last four years. Each of our kids returned to this book over and over-especially when they were in the 4-7 age bracket. They enjoyed looking for the hidden daisy on each page! Get the Unbrella, you won't be disappointed.
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More About the Author

Happily married with children.

The visual arts have always been an interest of mine. As an elementary student I struggled with reading and math, but art was the one thing that I could do in school that I excelled at.

After college, I worked as a graphic designer in Los Angeles, CA & Minneapolis, MN. Currently, I teach graphic design and illustration classes at Brigham Young University'Idaho (BYU-Idaho).

I am always looking for the next story. You never know what will spark an idea for a book. I love the process of making children's picture books.

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