Tuesday, February 8, 2011

10th February Umbrella Day

Tomorrow, 10th February is Umbrella Day, a day in honor of one of the world's most invaluable inventions. Time to look at how umbrellas feature in art and literature. Look for a print of and discuss Auguste Renior's famous painting The Umbrellas. Look at paintings of Manet and Seurat which also feature umbrellas but where they are more likely to be used to keep the sun off rather than rain. If we take into account when these paintings were done we can see that umbrellas and parasols have been in existence for a long time. When were they invented and by whom?

Four picture books that depict umbrellas and their usefulness are:
Umbrella by Taro Yashima. This book is now very old, but like Yashima's Crow Boy is destined to be a classic and still easily locatable. Momo gets an umbrella for her birthday and then has to wait a long time before it rains.
The Umbrella by Jan Brett is a retelling of the folktale The Mitten with a shift in setting. It is set in the cloud forest of Costa Rica and animals native to there use the umbrella as a refuge.
The Umbrella Queen by Shirin Yim Bridges and Taeeun Yoo. This is a lovely book, set in Thailand and tells the story of Noot, a young girl who paints elephants on umbrellas. Noot dares to be different an is rewarded for her spirit while still abiding by her family traditions.
Ella's Umbrellas by Jennifer Lloyd and Ashley Spires is a fun story about Ella who has an obsession with collecting umbrellas and her mother wants her to get rid of them because her grandmother is coming.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog and for this link. I'm so frustrated - and surprised - that neither Ella's Umbrellas nor The Umbrella by Jan Brett is available at the New York Public Library!