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The Big Umbrella

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,194 ratings  ·  258 reviews
By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have.

Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,194 ratings  ·  258 reviews


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Calista
A very beginning story about a nice happy umbrella. I love the setting, it’s a rainy day and the rain is coming down and you can almost hear the rain pounding on the umbrella. It’s my favorite kind of weather.

The happy umbrella can stretch and expand to include many people protected under it from the rain. My favorite picture was the last when the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds and it was smiling down as the umbrella was smiling up at each other.

It’s a cute little story for anyone w
...more
Michele Knott
Another book to add to your “need to have for this day and age we live in shelf”. Great conversations will happen around this book.
Chris
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
As I first read this book, I said to myself....."oh......okay......a magic umbrella that grows as it protects .... until it hit me over the head what it's really talking about. Inclusion! A great metaphor. I'd LOVE to read this to a 4th or 5th grade class and see how long it takes them to come to a similar conclusion. The mother/daughter (7th grader!) who wrote this book together live right here in my little hometown, and it tickles me to think that like-minded people are nearby in this central ...more
Jim Erekson
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
The palette and composition were really fun to look at. The rainy-day background was well contrasted with the colors of all the people and the umbrella itself. The best page was where it said "It likes to help" and showed the kinds of helping in the pictures without saying it in the words (and then the big-finish page at the end, with the octopus). Of course, the unsaid here is that the umbrella is America. I don't know about reviewers who said the metaphor was subtle. It's definitely a hit you ...more
La Coccinelle
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
What we have here is an obvious swipe at anti-immigration folks, although I don't know how many kids are going to pick up on that. The big umbrella just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and even though some people think that there won't be enough room under it, there always is.

The pictures are rather cute, especially with some of the more fanciful elements (which I wasn't expecting, but liked anyway).

The book isn't so much a story as an idea, but if it helps get kids thinking about this issue, t
...more
Jillian Heise
A beautiful picture book with a message of acceptance, inclusion, and helping others.
Laura Harrison
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Adorable, sweet picture book about inclusion.
Heather
Why is the person using a book to cover their head in the rain?! Stuff that book under your coat!
As a read aloud, it has potential for discussion about kindness, diversity, and immigration.
I enjoyed picking out the people hiding in the illustrations but the monster sacrificing a book to the rain gods? Nope.
Beth
A book that you think to yourself, "Well, this is weird," as you're reading it, but then as soon as you finish and close the book, you then mull over how despite the text's simplicity and oddness, the story and the message are so deep and timely. ...more
Jacki
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Sweet and clever. Storytimeable.
Garrett
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
It's like the TARDIS of umbrellas. ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
A great inclusive book.
Tonja Drecker
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inclusion and tolerance ring loud and clear in this beautiful, touching book.

The red umbrella is a big, friendly umbrella and carries this attitude through rain and storm out into the world. While starting out simple and indoors, the umbrella is taken outside where it quickly gains more and more people to shelter from the ever dripping rain. And the umbrella is never too small. Never.

This is a book of little but powerful words. While keeping the text to a minimum, just enough comes through to bu
...more
Elizabeth
Not only was this book sweet and did it show kindness, but I noticed at the end that it was co-written by a mother and her 7th grade daughter. Coincidentally, I read this book on a day when near me, a 7th grade boy took a gun to school and shot himself. What this author, Juniper Bates, did... writing and publishing a book as a 7th grader, was incredible. More people need to follow her ways and the interests she listed at the back of the book, and no one should repeat what that 7th grader at that ...more
Rebecca
A happy red umbrella welcomes everyone to shelter beneath it, because, somehow, "There is always room." This seemingly simple book could prompt some wonderful discussions about inclusion. Amy June Bates' rain-soaked illustrations are full of everyday diversity. Could also make an interesting flannel adaptation in the vein of The Mitten. ...more
mary dewley
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful picture book about diversity and sharing is written by Amy Bates and her daughter Juniper. All the illustrations are gorgeous and it isn't until the end that we get a chance to see just what all those peoples faces look like that were gathered underneath the kind umbrella, save for the ginormous duck. Lovely story for rainy day reading. ...more
Rachel
May 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
Not bad. It's just cute enough, and the illustrations are nice enough. I like the part about it doesn't matter how many feet you have (insert sad looking dog). So it's not bad, it's just enough for two stars. ...more
Stacy
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A simple book about inclusion and tolerance. Beautiful illustrations.
Miranda
It was very big.
Lois Brandt
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This absolute jewel of a book spreads warmth and love to all who read it.
Cat
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! So inclusive! It reminds me of one of my favorite comics, Miss Peach, and her kindergarten class all fitting under their big umbrella! Such a happy memory! This book would be wonderful for a story time read! Covers lots of topics actually, so it's versatile, too! Love the illustrations, the happy, smiley umbrella is great! ...more
Lynn
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A simple but sweet concept wonderfully executed. Ideal for very young readers and a wonderful discussion starter. Can be used as a story-time book or lap book.

The bright colors against the watery background were really lovely.
Jeimy
Aug 01, 2020 added it
The illustrations of the feet popping out of the umbrella were the best part!
Cindy Hudson
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A rainy-day conversation between a mom and her preteen daughter led the two of them to collaborate on a picture book called The Big Umbrella, which uses the metaphor of a red umbrella to show how people of all types can be welcome when taking shelter together.

Amy June Bates is an illustrator who worked with her daughter, Juniper, to develop the story. It starts off with an umbrella by a door and a child taking it to go out in the rain. We don’t see a face, only rain boots and a raincoat. Soon th
...more
Emma Andje
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
*actual rating is 4.5 stars*

This book is an exquisite metaphor for inclusivity. If you ever have the chance to look at the news, the repeating theme you notice in many of the stories is about the fear of including others in society who do not look like, act like, or think like what most believe to be "the majority". This book shows how sheltering others from harm is beneficial to all. The bearer of the umbrella receives joy from giving, the recipients gain joy from being dry and from the relatio
...more
The Library Lady
You know, my own daughter was a very good writer at 13, but if I'd published a book I wouldn't have been shameless enough to credit her as the co-author. I might have had a note about that at the end of the book, complete with a cute picture of her. That really would have been enough. But let's just set that aside and note that this is another book with an underlying message I agree with, but cringe at, because I just want a book to tell a good story, and forced underlying messages bug me. They ...more
Barbara
Although this picture book can be read simply as an adorable story about rainy weather and the shelter offered by an umbrella, it also readily serves as a metaphor. The umbrella might be the love and empathy we could share toward others or remind readers of the many men, women, and children seeking a new home. Although the umbrella might seem to be small, it is a welcoming object, and somehow can manage to expand to whatever the needs might be. The illustrations with a diverse cast of characters ...more
Sharon Coffey
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love this sparse text story that packs an emotional punch. Why? This umbrella isn’t an ordinary umbrella. It’s extraordinary. It’s a metaphor for compassion, kindness, and inclusion. It welcomes all walks of life, even animals, no matter how many legs they have. What the world could learn from this umbrella.

The umbrella provides safety and relief from the rain, whatever that rain may be. For children, that rain may be an argument with their best friend, a lost pet or having enough
...more
Xanthe
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is an adorable depiction of a rainy day and an umbrella that just wants to help, expanding to shelter anyone who needs a place out of the wet. The pictures are cute and funny, only showing people's feet until the very last pages, making for some gentle curiosity as more and more people join the huddle under the umbrella. (All are revealed except for those large bird feet! Still a mystery!) This was a such a lovely story for my four-year-old with a quiet message about being welcoming an ...more
Amy
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
By the door waits a red umbrella, it is big and friendly. It loves to give shelter, no matter if you are tall, hairy, plaid or have four legs. While others are afraid there won’t be enough room, the little red umbrella grows and grows, because there is room for everyone.

Impactful, charming and beautifully unique, The Big Umbrella teaches acceptance and inclusion. Wonderful illustrations line the pages, as the warmth of its message grows and grows. A perfect read for any classroom, opening the
...more
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Amy June Bates has illustrated more than forty books for children, including Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman, Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan, and The Dog Who Belonged to No One by Amy Hest. Her work has been honored by the Society of Illustrators. She lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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