by Chris Robertson
xist Publishing 10/15/2013
Age 3 – 7 32 pages
“It’s a beautiful day for a yellow umbrella! Bright, retro-inspired illustrations accompany a little girl on her dreamy day with a yellow umbrella.”
“It’s not raining, cloudy, or even a bit overcast. It is the perfect day for my yellow umbrella.”
A young girl, who obviously loves the color yellow, spends the day with her dog and her yellow umbrella. I think the star of the book is the color yellow. Every important object is yellow: the girl wears yellow clothes, the dog has yellow fur, and the umbrella is yellow. Even the teddy bear she holds onto at night is yellow. I like unimaginable adventures the girl takes, inspired by her yellow umbrella. From a lazy lunch by the river, to flying high in the sky, the yellow umbrella entertains the young girl. It is the impetus for many things. The young girl’s imagination uses the umbrella as a crayon—the color yellow—a megaphone, a flying machine, a boat, and, of course, a yellow umbrella.
Kids will love the imagination in My Yellow Umbrella so much that parents may find their child requesting their own umbrella, maybe in yellow, but hopefully in their own favorite color. I do not think the point of the story is for kids to imitate, but to be inspired. Instead of an umbrella, maybe your child always faithfully carries around a ratty, old, blue blanket. Whatever the object, it will be precious to the child and spark the imagination.
The illustrations are cute. Each spread has varying shades of blue, green, or red for the background, with objects outlined in white. The girl, her dog, and the umbrella are all yellow with some black. One of my favorite spreads has the umbrella carrying the girl high over the city, in front of a large company sign atop a building. The company sign is for Ghirardelli, the premium chocolate company. I love that the author put in something most kids will not catch, but most adults will. One spread I do not understand. With various yellow umbrellas floating above her, the girl eats yellow corn-on-the-cob. The young girl is comparing her umbrella to things it is not.
“It’s not too furry like a big, brown bear. Or too itchy like the green, green grass.”
Inconsistently, the umbrella handle changes from yellow to black without obvious reason to the reader. Despite these, kids, especially girls, will enjoy My Yellow Umbrella and all the adventures they go one together. Without giving the girl a name, the author wisely allows young girls—or boys—to place themselves in the story. Finally, My Yellow Umbrella comes full circle, starting where it began, with the dawn of a new day. I like this picture book and believe young children will want to have My Yellow Umbrella read to them every night, if not multiple times a day. Don’t worry, parents, My Yellow Umbrella is a joy to read.
For more about My Yellow Umbrella click HERE.
MY YELLOW UMBRELLA. Text and illustrations copyright © 2013 by Chris Robertson, Reproduced by permission of the publisher, xist Publishing, Irvine, CA.