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Monday, April 2, 2018

The Pink Umbrella, written by Amelie Callot and illustrated by Genevieve Godbout. Translated by Lara Hinchberger. Tundra, Penguin Random House, 2018. $22.99 ages 6 and up

"The café stands in the midst of a small group of houses that face into the wind, looking out at the ocean. The coast is rugged, but the land is gentle, covered in tall grasses blown flat by the sea air. Aside from the residents of the village, there is very little here in this wild landscape. For the villagers, the café is a refuge, a small lantern always lit."

Adele lights up life in the village with her warm countenance and her wonderful café, a place that is the center of the villagers' social life. The only thing that changes Adele's sweet, welcoming demeanor is rain.

Adele loves the sunshine. It makes her sing, and smile, and even whistle. When it rains, 'she loses her spirit'. She refuses to go outside, often staying at home under her quilt while waiting for the sun to return to the sky.

Lucas is her friend, bringing fresh vegetables for market day and flowers on Sunday. Lucas takes care of Adele in many little ways. One day after the café closes and the cleaning is done, Adele finds a pair of pink boots on a rug by the door. She tries them on, and finds they fit her tiny feet perfectly. She searches for the owner the next day; no one claims them.

At the next weekly market day, a lovely pink raincoat is left on the coatrack. Whose might it be? Just as the boots did, the coat fits Adele perfectly ... but, it is not hers.  Maybe both were left for her! On the following market day, almost no one comes to the café as it is gloomy and raining. Lucas prepares to leave early.

"When the truck disappeared from view, Adele turned around to close the café, roll herself up in her quilt and wait for the sun to take the place of the clouds ... "

Another surprise is in store for her - a pink polka dot umbrella! Mystery solved and aversion to rain diminished. There is so much to discover when one is prepared for the weather.

Using colored pencils and pastels, Genevieve. Godbout sets the story in a charming seaside village, where residents enjoy each other's company and offer friendship and understanding. The warm textures and expressive faces exude good feelings all around.

Full of charm, this tribute to small town living and the gift of friendship makes a terrific read aloud in early years classrooms.

1 comment:

  1. This one is new to me. The illustrations look beautiful. Sounds like a great story as well. Thanks for sharing. :)