Saturday, October 1, 2011

Umbrella

Umbrella by Taro Yashima. 1958/2004. Penguin. 40 pages. 

Momo is the name of a little girl who was born in New York. The word Momo means "the peach" in Japan where her father and mother used to live. On her third birthday Momo was given two presents--red rubber boots and an umbrella! They pleased her so much that she even woke up that midnight to take another look at them.

Umbrella by Taro Yashima IS my favorite, favorite, favorite picture book. I can't remember a time when I didn't love and adore this one.

Umbrella is the story of a little girl, Momo, who is oh-so-excited about her birthday presents. On her third birthday, Momo received red rubber boots and an umbrella. But Momo has to learn some patience. For the rain is SLOW in coming. And her parents aren't going to be easily persuaded that her umbrella is a must for dealing with sun and wind.

But, of course, the rain does come. And the wait was worth it. For Momo gets to use her new boots and umbrella. And she gets to walk all by herself without holding onto her mother's or father's hands.

Perhaps it is the rhythm of the rain that makes this such a memorable story? With it's oh-so-lovely refrain:
On her umbrella, the raindrops made the wonderful music--

bon polo
bon polo
ponpolo ponpolo
ponpolo ponpolo
bolo bolo ponpolo
bolo bolo ponpolo
boto boto ponpolo
boto boto ponpolo

all the way home. 
As much as I love the text--and I do LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the text--I must say that I really, really LOVE the illustrations. I do. From cover to cover. Even the end papers. I just LOVE Taro Yashima's artwork. His style made a definite impression on me--and it's one that has stuck with me through the years. There's just something unforgettable about each page--almost each page.

It's just a sweet, sweet book that continues to charm.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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