The Umbrella

Bibliographic Information: Brett, Jan. The Umbrella. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004. Print.

Brief Annotation: This is a story about a young boy named Carlos, who lives in Costa Rica. He explores the Monteverde Cloud Forest with only an umbrella. He is determined to see lots of animals. He leaves his umbrella at the foot of a giant fig tree and climbs up to get a better look. As Carlos is up in the tree, numerous animals climb into his umbrella, one after the other, each one larger than the last. Unfortunately he does not see all of the animals, only the frog, but he states at the end that he will go back the next day in search of seeing animals once again.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: K – 4

Reader who will like this: Any child would love this imaginative story about animals because the language is so vivid and the illustrations are extremely detailed. This book also includes a cultural aspect, and components of it are written in the Spanish language. Therefore, students that speak Spanish would enjoy this story as well.

Rating/Response: 5 – This is such a cute story with beautiful illustrations. It would be fun to use as an introductory read aloud for a unit or lesson about Costa Rica or more specifically, the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do you think the story will be about based on the cover and the title?

Reading Strategy: Inferences

Rationale for Strategy: Jan Brett’s illustrations offer wonderful opportunities for making inferences, as the pictures on the side foreshadow what will happen next in the story. This is a common trend amongst her storybooks. Furthermore, the story kind of progresses in a pattern, allowing students to infer which animals will jump in the umbrella next and what they will do when Carlos comes back down to the ground.

Posted by: Emma Henke

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