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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Rainbow Umbrella by Ann Hoang is an imaginative journey, a story of two children and their wondrous encounters in the Pacific Northwest Cascades. Join two unnamed girls in marveling at the beauty of Mother Nature through the help of a rainbow umbrella. Tag along with them as they soar with the wild wind up a mountainside, chase a cloud, color the evening air, and splash amidst a comet’s tail. This storybook celebrates the beauty of the great outdoors, where a fox alights from a mountain stair, a marmot whistles amongst the rocks, and a bear gathers berries. Some of its pages are left without text and are there to engage you in supplying your own impressions and in appealing to your aesthetics. It even has fairies donning their slippers.
The harmonious blend of words and pictures in Rainbow Umbrella will deeply engage children in an immersive experience. Ann Hoang cuts to the heart of the matter as her rhythmic short verses not only draw young readers but adults as well. There is an inherent beauty in the pages that anyone can appreciate regardless of age. Hoang’s word choices are startlingly smart, clean, and lean the way text in a storybook should be. Charity Russell’s illustrations build with the rhythm of the verses, setting and enriching the pages with hypnotic nature scenes. It’s a great pleasure to read this book, and both adults and children can enjoy the ride along with the Rainbow Umbrella that will take them on a nature-tripping adventure.