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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert
Age Range: Under_5
It’s a windy, autumn day when a little black dog discovers a bright red umbrella in the garden. The umbrella acts like a magic carpet and before he knows it the black terrier is whisked up into the air. The umbrella whirls the dog across the world over continents and oceans, the tropics and Polar Regions. The shape of the umbrella comes in for many uses: as a boat to sail across the sea, a sledge over snow and to fly across the sky. The little dog can walk on clouds, fight off alligators and is even carried off by a Pelican holding the umbrella handle in its beak.
This charming, wordless picture book from husband and wife team Ingrid and Dieter Schubert contains so much detail to be discovered. The Schubert’s were born in Germany and together have created dozens of books for children. They are among the most famous illustrators in The Netherlands. The gentle humour, combined with expressive double-spread watercolour illustrations capture the vastness of the continents and oceans as the dog travels the world.
There is so much for children to find hidden in the illustrations: as the dog walks through the clouds they loom up in the form of animal shapes, or a large snake can be found hidden amongst a group of alligators with the trunk of an elephant reaching towards him from the side of the page. The illustrations often take on different perspectives too. Sometimes the dog is central in the foreground, while at other times he is merely a speck in the sky.
The Umbrella is a gorgeous book that can be looked at again and again because there will always be something new and different to discover. Children can have fun making up their own story as they immerse themselves in the lavish artwork following the little dog on his journey.