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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Under the Umnbrella, written by Catherine Buquet and illustrated by Marion Arbona, with translaton by Erin Woods. Pajama Press, 017. $19.95 ages 4 and up

"Under his umbrella
He strode without a

Under his umbrella
He muttered all
the while.

His clutching
fingers felt like ice."

March 1 - a 'birth' day of sorts for two new books from Pajama Press. The first of two new releases is about a very grumpy man. If you are one of those people who doesn't much like wind and rain and are often in a hurry, you will know how he is feeling. His surroundings are as grey and moody as he is. His mood is aptly displayed in the rhyming text and in the dreary darkness of the artwork.

That mood is effectively changed for the reader when we note a young boy looking at the warm glow emanating from a patisserie window. Bathed in yellow light, he is standing on tiptoe to get a clear look at the sweetness on display.  A turn of the page and the reader is fully aware of the warmth the boy is feeling.

"Dry beneath the awning,
he gazed upon the spread
Of cakes and creams and cookies
meant to turn each passing head."

Just as quickly, with the strength of a gusty wind, we are returned to the gloom as the man loses his umbrella. Luckily, the boy is there to grab it, and to bring a welcome change to the man's day.

The artwork beautifully matches the feel of the rainy day from two clearly different perspectives. Use of color, shape, and varying perspective add to the book's appeal. The text is filled with an invitation to look at the world from point of view, and the translation to memorable rhyming text is a real plus!

A heartwarming friendship may have just been established!

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