Thursday, February 1, 2018

Mother-Daughter Duo Tackle the Theme of Acceptance in a Wonderful New Children's Book, "The Big Umbrella" (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Simon & Schuster

“A subtle, deceptively simple book about inclusion, hospitality, and welcoming the ‘other.’” —Kirkus Reviews

“Well designed for classroom read-aloud sessions, this open-ended picture book creates a natural springboard for discussion.”—Booklist

The Big Umbrella

"Hailed by BookPage as a “celebration of inclusion and generosity,” THE BIG UMBRELLA by Amy June Bates and co-written by Juniper Bates (Paula Wiseman Books, 2/6/18, ISBN 9781534406582), tells the story of a big umbrella that has room for everyone underneath. Inspired by a conversation with her eleven-year-old daughter as they walked to school in the rain the day after the 2016 presidential election, beloved illustrator Amy June Bates makes her authorial debut with this timely and timeless picture book about acceptance.

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By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have.

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Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room."

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My Thoughts:

Even though there are not many words to this story, the text that is shared is powerful in spreading such positive messages of acceptance, need for diversity and compassion.  As I read this book to my girls for the first time, I couldn't help but smile as the bright red umbrella with a smile on its face.  And, as we turned the pages and read more, the umbrella got bigger, as if it was a heart expandable and growing bigger with every new person that it comes in contact with and welcomes in with open arms.  The illustrations really are stunning and help tell this wonderful story of acceptance.  You really don't see many picture books like this on the market, and in today's day and age where people are being separated again by ethnicity, religion and political beliefs, it is heartwarming and reassuring as a parent to be able to share a simple story like this, that even young children can understand and appreciate.  

I love seeing the world through my daughters' eyes as they are still in the pure and innocent stage and people are just people to them -- no matter their skin color.  This story is powerful and will make parents stop and appreciate the message of acceptance and how we need to keep the innocence of our youth as long as we can and be sure to not show signs of hatred or bigotry, as the world around us struggles to accept each and every one.

Hats off to this mom and daughter duo for putting out such an amazing book, and for letting parents share this wonderful story with their children.  I highly recommend this book to parents, caregivers, and even teachers, looking for a book that install love for all and acceptance for all in their children, as they grow and they will one day be the leaders of our country and need to have a big heart just like the red umbrella in this story has. 

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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