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Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella Hardcover – March 21, 2017
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“In this lyrical, action-packed fantasy, Harper is allowed to use her aunt’s Scarlet Umbrella and later discovers that her cat is missing. The Scarlet Umbrella has magical powers; it leads her to the homes of others who are missing cats. As Harper works with her friends to find the felines and bring them home, they observe new strengths in one another. Dreamy Liesel, ‘with tangled, blonde hair and filthy nails,’ implements plans of action with impressive leadership skills. Liesel's poetic brother, Ferdie, is strong and courageous. Nate, who is visually impaired, assists with his ability to hear incredibly soft sounds and maneuver in the darkness. The kids meet and confront the Wild Conductor, who has enchanted the cats. A chase ensues, with Harper and Nate flying across town in the magical Umbrella. Harper uses her musical gifts to lure the cats back with ‘a song of stars and mist and hope. A song that spread across the sky, as if it came from the heavens.’ The kids successfully battle the Wild Conductor and bring the cats home. Line drawings throughout depict the smartly dressed and messy characters. Ample action keeps the story accessible for beginning chapter book readers. Originally published in the United Kingdom, this lively tale is sure to win fans in the United States, from cat lovers to music aficionados to fantasy fans. VERDICT: A winning tale of teamwork and artistry. A solid purchase for most chapter book collections.” –School Library Journal
“This lushly-written, enchanting salute to magic, music and adventure is so intriguing that even this confirmed dog lover was rooting for Harper to be reunited with her beloved cat. I suspect readers of Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella will be left thinking about their own umbrellas in a whole new way.” Nancy Krulik, New York Times bestselling author of Katie Kazoo and Project Droid
“Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella is a magical, musical tale that sings with whimsy and charm! There’s not a wrong note to be found in this boisterous adventure, as children save the day as only children can. Fantastical, effervescent, and fun!” Micol Ostow, author of the Louise Trapeze series
About the Author
Laura Ellen Anderson has been a childrens book illustrator since graduating from the University of Falmouth. She is the creator of the Evil Emperor Penguin comic and the illustrator for many books including the Witch Wars series. She lives in the United Kingdom.
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‘Once there was a girl called Harper who had a rare musical gift. She heard songs on the wind, rhythms on the rain and hope in the beat of a butterfly’s wing.’
One day her cat Midnight goes missing. Harper goes around to the adjoining apartments to ask if anyone has seen her beloved pet. To her astonishment she discovers that all the cats in the neighbourhood have mysteriously vanished. All the kids in the block team up to help solve the mystery of the disappearing felines. With the help of a her Great Aunt Sassy's magical umbrella and the collaborative help of her friends they solve the mystery.
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. The writing is beautiful. It's a lyrical tale filled with many diverse and adorable characters that kids will relate to. I especially liked the fact that Harper connected so well to Nate, who is visually impaired, and to his wolf companion Smoke. The story weaves together the elements of friendship, music, magic and the celebration of the love of cats. Other books to check out by the author are: "Harper and the Sea of Secrets", and the next book in the series,"Harper and the Circus of Dreams". If I was still actively teaching I would definitely have this book in my classroom and in the school library. I highly, highly recommend this book. It's a winner.
HARPER AND THE SCARLET UMBRELLA is a story of adventure, magic, and friendship. Harper is a musically gifted little girl who upon discovering that the cats are missing from her apartment building gathers a group of kids and sets out to get back her beloved cat. Along the way she discovers a magical umbrella, a troubled ex-circus performer, a cat orchestra, and some wonderful friends.
The story is told with an enchanting use of language that adds to the mystical quality of the story. There is a musicality to it that fits with the overarching theme of the book. However, there are times when I believe the author got lost in her beautiful words and the story takes a momentary backseat, as did the attention of my young audience when reading this aloud. She quickly rallies though and the colorful characters and their exciting adventure win in the end.
This was a charming story and I look forward to reading even more Harper adventures.
Harper's cat and other cats are missing. After searching the City of Clouds where Harper lives, they locate the cats. The Wild Conductor stole them to create his cat orchestra.
Harper and her friends: Nate , Ferdie and Liesel are able to free the cats with the help of the magical scarlet umbrella. Along the way there is adventure for the friends . Sometimes it appears dangerous.
The story illustrates how each of the main characters had a special gift which they used to solve the problem of having their cats returned to them.
It was an interesting story. It definitely shows how people working together can create a change and solve a problem.