Un-Brella is my first book and today there is another first. My first review.
It will be in the March/April 2007 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
A little girl’s magical umbrella has the power to reverse the weather under it in this wordless exercise in whimsy. When the pig-tailed heroine looks out the window at a snow-covered landscape, her response is predictable, but her attire is not. Out she ventures in flippers and bathing suit, flopping prints in the snow. But up the “un-brella” goes, and, beneath its protection, the sun shines down, melting the snow. Likewise, when spring comes, out she goes in her parka and boots and puts up the un-brella to call down a tiny localized blizzard. The digital illustrations strive for a three dimensional effect, flat planes and bold colors creating crisp lines arranged in layers on the page. The technique is at its most effective in the long views, as a ribbon of green winds its way through the snow, indicating the path of the girl and her un-brella; similarly, a winding path of snow dotted with green footprints follows the girl and her blizzard through the spring landscape. Images of the girl frolicking with penguins in a pool of water surrounded by ice and building a snowman in her bedroom under the un-brella will delight every kid who’s ever wanted instant weather-gratification. V.S