I don’t have a lot of experience with umbrellas. Being a Southern Arizona girl, I usually find myself outside dancing in the rain instead of trying to seek shelter from it. That is, on the few days a year we actually get any. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the sentiment behind The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates.
The illustrations alone are enough for me to be in love with this book. The soft muted backgrounds are a perfect depiction of a rainy day. Contrast that with the bold and vivid colors of the characters and you truly have a work of art.
But the thing I love most is the message it teaches. As the owner of the umbrella meets more and more characters, each one different in their own way, there is no hesitation in sharing their umbrella. The more they are willing to share, the more the umbrella grows.
Elbert Hubbard once said, “Love grows in giving.” And I agree. Just like the big friendly umbrella, the more you are willing to share your love, the bigger your love grows. Our homes, our classrooms, and our hearts should all follow the example of The Big Umbrella and make room. Because there should always be room for those who want to be included.
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