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    • Imported from USA.
    Jan Brett, well-loved for her ornate, Scandinavian-themed picture books takes her talents deep into the Monteverde Cloud Forest of Costa Rica. A tropical twist on The Mitten, this story chronicles the antics of myriad animals that make themselves right at home in the handcrafted leaf umbrella that Carlos has left at the foot of a giant fig tree. As the tree frog, toucan, kinkajou, tapir, quetzal, monkey, and more pile into the umbrella, Carlos, who is visiting the cloud forest expressly to see these animals, doesn't see a single one. Things heat up when the impulsive monkey hurls the umbrella into the river: "'¿Qué pasa? What is happening?' Froggy asks as water starts to pour into the umbrella." Jaguar jumps in, adding to the confusion, but it's the addition of the tiniest of hummingbirds that causes the big "KER-SPLASH!" Brett's gorgeous, detailed watercolor and gouache illustrations steal the show here, from the exquisite endpapers to the vine-encased leafy side panels that reveal the tree-climbing boy on the left side and a sneak preview of the next umbrella-dwelling animal on the right side. Not Brett's best-crafted story, but her fans will want this lush offering anyway. (Ages 5 to 8) --Karin Snelson Did You Know? Fun Facts about Jan Brett * Each book begins with the art first. * Jan likes to listen to audiobooks while drawing--usually thrillers! * Each book takes about a year to complete. * The pages of each book are not created in sequence (she saves the front materials and endpapers for last). * Each book is carefully researched--she created The Umbrella after a trip with her husband to Costa Rica. * Jan prefers to use her memories of a place to create her art, rather than relying on pictures. For Young Writers and Artists Tips from Jan Brett * Want a reality check on your artwork? View your work in a mirror. * Be honest with yourself, and get comfortable with personal and private writing. Write in a notebook that no one sees but you. * Remember the things that happen to you now. It's okay to feel things strongly as a kid. You can use your emotions as part of the recipe for something later.
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    The Umbrella: board book

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