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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)
Elephant's Umbrella (The)
by Laleh Jaffari
Age Range: Under_5
Elephant loves his brightly coloured umbrella; when it rains he likes nothing more than being able to offer shelter to his friends so that they can keep cosy and dry. But one day when the elephant was sleeping a gust of wind swept the umbrella away and gave it to the leopard. ‘If I become yours’, asked the umbrella, ‘Where will you take me when it rains?’ the leopard replies that he’ll take the umbrella hunting which doesn’t please the umbrella so she quickly asks the wind to carry her away. When bear is asked the same question he says he will take her to the bees while he takes their honey - not what the umbrella wants to hear either. Will the umbrella find the elephant again?
This gorgeous tale is both simple and sophisticated in equal measure; on one level it is a lovely tale perfect for storytelling, but on another it deals with selfishness and greed versus generosity and caring. Iranian author Laleh Jaffari is an author, translator and TV director and has written 25 children’s books. With gentle humour she demonstrates how the leopard and the bear only consider themselves whereas the elephant thinks of others, and in doing so, it brings him enormous pleasure. The vibrant, eye-catching illustrations by Iranian illustrator Ali Khodai, who has illustrated over 80 books and has won many national awards in his home country of Iran, are a true delight. How could you not fail to fall in love with the kindly elephant who wants nothing more than to keep his friends dry?