The Umbrella

Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Lemniscaat USA (Ingram, dist.), $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-9359-5400-2
The Schuberts' (Ophelia) wordless fantasy unfolds like a long-forgotten childhood favorite. A dapper black terrier out with a cat friend on a gusty autumn evening finds a red umbrella. He puts it up, is instantly borne aloft in a shower of golden and scarlet leaves, and, in the next spread, he's above the clouds and off around the world. He fends off a crowd of hungry alligators with his umbrella (a kindly elephant launches him back into the air), descends into the depths of the ocean, flies over a rain forest (where he's attacked by a tribe wielding spears, bows, and arrows), dallies in the Arctic, then lands right back where he started—same wind, same leaves, same cat—as if the whole trip has taken no more than a couple of minutes. The Schuberts' depiction of foreign lands (especially those spear-throwing tribesmen) may strike some readers as dated, though it doesn't dampen the book's sense of adventure. Nevertheless, it's a marvelous treat for the senses; masterful drafting and splendid color make every spread worth lingering over. Ages 2–up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
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