The Umbrella
Written and illustrated  by
Jan Brett

G. P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN: 0-399-24215-5

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    Carlos walks into the cloud forest with his green umbrella, where the only sound is the steady, drip, drip, drip of drops falling from the trees.  Carlos is sure that he will see lots of animals--perhaps a toucan, a kinkajou, a tapir, maybe the monkey, and if he is lucky, the exotic quetzal bird.  He leaves his umbrella at the foot of a giant fig tree and climbs up for a better look.  Perhaps Carlos should have stayed below, where, first a mischievous tree frog hops into the umbrella, followed by one animal after another, each one larger than the last!
     The Umbrella, with its delightful story and exquisite paintings of a lush tropical settings, perfectly complements Jan Brett's most popular picture book, The Mitten, set in snowy woods where furry animals crawl into a boy's mitten.
     Jan visited the Monteverdi Cloud Forest in Costa Rica and was beguiled by it,  "Just like Carlos, the boy in my story." she says.  "The swirling mist and dappled sunshine challenge the visitor.  Birds and animals appear and disappear as if seen through a kaleidoscope.  The shape and coloring of a creature often mimic the leafy world it lives in.  One of the most rewarding sights is the resplendent quetzal with its long tail resembling the trailing vines hanging from its perch."
     Jan Brett's glorious artwork provides a rare look at this mysterious habitat high on a mountain.

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