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The Umbrellaby Jan Brett
Synopses & Reviews
Who will help Mossy return home to Lilypad Pond?
Mossy, an amazing turtle with a gorgeous garden growing on her shell, loses her freedom when Dr. Carolina, a biologist, takes her to live in her Edwardian museum. Visitors flock to see Mossy, but it is Dr. Carolina's niece, Tory, who notices how sad Mossy is living in a viewing pavilion. She misses the outdoors and her friend, Scoot.
Dr. Carolina finds a way to keep the spirit of Mossy alive at the museum. She invites Flora and Fauna to paint Mossy's portrait. Then she and Tory take Mossy home, where Scoot is waiting for her.
Jan Brett fans will pore over the colorful paintings of Lilypad Pond and lush borders displaying wildflowers, ferns, butterflies and birds in contrast to elegant spreads of the museum filled with visitors in stylish Edwardian dress and exquisite borders of shells, rocks, crystals and birds' eggs.
MOSSY gives readers a fascinating look at nature in the wild and on display in a natural history museum.
"Inspired by the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica (according to the jacket flap), Brett's watercolor and gouache art grabs the spotlight in this tale of young Carlos, who carries an umbrella made of giant lush leaves into the forest. He sets it down in order to climb the branches of a fig tree, hoping to catch sight of certain creatures from a higher elevation. Ironically, in a cumulative plot reminiscent of The Mitten, the critters he aims to spy — among them a toucan, kinkajou, tapir, monkey and jaguar — accumulate inside his umbrella below. Brett depicts the main action in a wide horizontal scene on each spread, while leaf-shaped side panels reveal the boy scaling the tree, and preview the next animal to drop into the umbrella. Brett's vivid details — the markings of the tapir's fur, the contrasting reds and greens of the quetzal's feathers — bring the exotic creatures to life. After the monkey flings the umbrella into the river and climbs aboard, the jaguar jumps onto it and the other animals think, 'Just don't eat us up!' A dramatic aerial view shows the group floating down river; what rocks the boat is a tiny hummingbird, which alights upon the umbrella handle. The creatures reach the riverbank just as the boy abandons his treetop perch, wondering where all the animals are. The author sprinkles this amiable, smoothly recounted tale with Spanish words. Yet more memorable than her narrative are Brett's paintings — an eye-pleasing introduction to exquisite rainforest residents and vegetation. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Jan Brett's New York Times bestselling picture book The Umbrella has all the rollicking fun of the woodland animals that crowd into a mitten in the snow in The Mitten. Only this time it's in a lush cloud forest as one by one, tree frog, toucan, kinkajou, baby tapir, quetzal, monkey, and jaguar crowd into an open, upside down banana umbrella until a tiny hummingbird lands and they all fall out. A shortened text for toddlers and simple Spanish phrases like "Hola!" add to the fun of reading aloud this lively board book.
A lively tale sure to be loved by fans of The Mitten
Originally published in 1985, Annie and the Wild Animals is back in a large hardcover format with a striking new jacket that makes this new edition the perfect gift for young readers.
Annie's cat, Taffy, disappears and she is lonely. She looks for a friendly, furry pet near the woods, but a giant moose, a grumpy bear and others show up to eat her corn cakes until they are all gone. They leave, and to Annie's surprise, out of the woods comes Taffy with her three new kittens.
About the Author
Jan Brett lives in Norwell, Massachusetts.
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