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Reviewed by Rachelle Smith for Readers' Favorite
It’s not often that I think, “This one is perfect for my daughter!” But that’s exactly my reaction to Stella’s Umbrellas by Julie Reed. Stella’s Umbrellas is a magical poem set to pictures. The well-crafted rhyme is complemented by the lively illustrations of young Stella. The child always has the perfect parasol for the occasion and each one seems to have magical power. It’s definitely a twist on the superstition that umbrellas bring bad luck as Stella’s collection has the opposite effect.
It’s interesting that the other children in the story speculate about Stella’s assortment of her selected accessory. She’s a child that clearly knows who she is and what she likes. And as the story moves on, it is clear that her spirit and conviction are passed on to those nearby. While her Mama insists it’s a combination of faith and good intention that helps Stella along in her day, who can argue that magical umbrellas aren’t a thing? (They even ward off the would-be bully!)
Nataliya Chervochkova brings Stella’s world to life in her stunning illustrations. From Stella’s adorable oversized eyeglasses to her life-of-their-own red locks, this is a personality resplendent. Each page welcomes the viewer in and bids them stay a while to take in the details of each picture. Julie Reed offers a book that will likely become a treasured favorite. Stella’s infectious optimism and spunky life outlook stand out against the monotony of conformity and the status quo. And the added diversity showcased in the other children makes this a welcome addition to the bookshelf.