- Age Range: 3 - 7 years
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; First Edition edition (April 3, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596431792
- ISBN-13: 978-1596431799
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.2 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Un-Brella Hardcover – April 3, 2007
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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
Top customer reviews
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. At any rate, this child is still getting much needed practice in the conventions of reading without the letters to stress and trip them up.
Of course, you don't want the only book in your house to be a wordless picture book, I understand that, because children do need print to practice reading, but a few are a WONDERFUL thing for a child. And who has just one book, anyway?