#867 – Harrison Loved His Umbrella by Rhoda Levine and Karla Kuskin

HarrisonLovedHisUmbrella_MECH.indd Harrison Loved His Umbrella
Written by Rhoda Levine
Illustrated by Karla Kuskin
New York Review Children’s Collection   6/14/2016
978-1-59017-991-8
56 pages       Ages 3—5

“Harrison liked to hold his umbrella in the rain. He also held it in the sun. He found it very helpful in the snow. But most of all he loved to hold it open in the house.

“In fact, Harrison was the only child on his block to hold an open umbrella in his hand ALL THE TIME. How his friends admired him!

“Then one rainy day, after the rain was over, all the children held their umbrellas, and they, too, continued to hold the umbrellas open. They all found them useful in the sun, helpful in the snow, and loved them in the house.

“Complications? Of course! But that’s all part of the story.” [press release]

Review
Harrison loves his umbrella so much that he holds it open all the time. Inside and outside, Harrison’s umbrella is open. He carries it everywhere. Harrison’s umbrella has many great uses. He can spin it like a top, at bedtime he can pretend he is camping, he can hide behind it, and the umbrella makes a terrific shield (against wild beasts). His family hates Harrison’s open umbrella. All the children look up to Harrison. Soon, all the children keep their umbrellas open, inside and outside. And their parents worry.

Harrison Loved His Umbrella Final txt crx.inddThe parents can no longer see their child. When they look down, all they see is the top of an umbrella. And the umbrellas constantly get in the way. The parents get together and discuss their dilemma. Together, they decide to remain silent, not talking to their children. They reason their children will wonder where they are and put down their umbrellas to look for mm and dad. But the next day, the children know where their parents are; they can see their parent’s feet from under their umbrella. The parents continue to worry. No matter what they try, their children continue to hold their umbrellas open.

Finally, the parents hold a meeting with all their children. As the parents talk, their children play games with their open umbrellas. Until . . . they hear . . . an odd sound.

“Whir. Whistle. Clunk.”

It’s Harrison.

Harrison Loved His Umbrella Final txt crx.indd

Harrison Loved His Umbrella is an unusual tale about conformity and trends. Who doesn’t like having the newest, most fashionable, must-have item? Kids, especially, don’t like being without whatever most of the other children have, and if doing so bugs their parents, that’s perfect. There is a lot of humor in Harrison Loved His Umbrella. The parents worry, sometimes to tears (and there they are, a mom and a dad, sitting and crying, tears flowing down their cheeks). Kids will think it’s funny.

The illustrations are simple yet effectively tell Harrison’s story. Using red, yellow, black, and occasionally orange, the images are dated, but the story is not. Even so, the images are fun, enhance the story, and add visual humor readers will love.

Though the meat of the story is about the parents’ angst, kids will enjoy Harrison Loved His Umbrella. Nothing the parents do can stop their children from their newest, fashionable, must-have-open umbrellas. That is, until Harrison—the trend maker—puts his umbrella away and starts carrying and playing with a yo-yo.

Harrison Loved His Umbrella Final txt crx.inddOriginally published in 1964, Harrison Loved His Umbrella is one of those stories with staying power. Kids will always want what other kids have, especially if it is the must-have item of the year. Following the popular kid, following trends, peer-pressure to conform, these are all part of life, especially for kids.

Harrison Loved His Umbrella uses humorous to show how silly following trends can be, yet we make this important. Being fashionable, being like the popular kid—or in Harrison’s case the fashionable kid—is an evergreen story. The humor and lovely illustrations will make Harrison Loved His Umbrella a much-loved story with an unspoken lesson—be yourself.

HARRISON LOVED HIS UMBRELLA. Text copyright © 1964/2016 by Rhoda Levine. Illustrations copyright © 1964/2016 by Karla Kuskin. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, New York Review Children’s Collection, New York, NY.

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Find Harrison Loved His Umbrella on Goodreads HERE.

Rhoda Levine:  Biography HERE.
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Karla Kuskin:  http://www.karlakuskin.com/
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New York Review Children’s Collection is an imprint of New York Review of Books.

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Reprinted with permission from HARRISON LOVED HIS UMBRELLA © 1964/2016 by Rhoda Levine, New York Review Children’s Collection, an imprint of New York Review of Books, Illustrations © 1964/2016 by Karla Kuskin.

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Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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Full Disclosure: Harrison Loved His Umbrella by Rhoda Levine & Karla Kuskin, and received from New York Review Children’s Collection, (an imprint of New York Review of Books), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Harrison Loved His Umbrella
Written by Rhoda Levine
Illustrated by Karla Kuskin
New York Review Children’s Collection 6/14/2016

9781590179918

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