Kindergarten Books > The Big Umbrella

The Big Umbrella

text and illustration:Amy June Bates | translation:Tamara Naser

Sparked by a conversation between the author/illustrator and her daughter, co-author Juniper Bates, this is the story of a big, red, friendly, helpful umbrella that sits near the front door and “likes to spread its arms wide” when it rains. It has room for the diverse creatures that seek its protection. This deceptively simple book invites discussion about inclusion, hospitality, and welcoming the “other.”

Family Activities

The little girl goes out to the street on a rainy day holding her large red umbrella. One after the other, passers-by find shelter from the rain under her umbrella. The umbrella becomes larger and larger to include all people, regardless of their gender, color, abilities, or age. Little by little, ...


Dear Parents,

The text and illustrations of this story lead us to the ideas of inclusion and pluralism in every human society. Where we come from, how we look, our interests, or our abilities do not matter if there is one umbrella that unites us. This umbrella is the umbrella of humanity and values, such as: respecting others and listening to them, accepting all differences, tolerance, sharing, and being kind to others.

These days, violence surrounds our children everywhere. Therefore, we urgently need to instill these values in our children. This book is an introduction to start talking with our children about these values and how we express them in our daily lives, hoping that their eyes and hearts will widen to see and embrace everyone

Family Activities

  • We follow everyone who gets under the umbrella. What does their appearance tell us about them? We think about others who may get under the umbrella
  • The umbrella becomes larger gradually to include everyone who seeks refuge under it. We try this by opening our arms like a hug. How many people can we hug if we open our arms slightly? What if we open our arms as wide as we can?
  • We look at the park in the last pages of the book and imagine that we visit this park. Who do we see there? With whom do we like to go to the park? What do we like doing there?
  • We talk about things we do in our family to display our love and concern to each other, such as doing home chores, or preparing our favorite food, or doing a fun family ritual.
  • The family umbrella: we draw a simple umbrella on a cardboard sheet and cut it. We draw and cut the shapes of a boot and a raindrop. Then, we give each family member one clipping of each shape. Every member writes his/her name on the boot clipping and sticks it under the umbrella, and writes or draws one thing he/she is afraid of on the raindrop (such as the darkness, or certain animals) and stick it around the umbrella. Eventually, we will get a fantastic board to hang. We may want to write beneath the board statements like: "We feel happy and safe under our umbrella."
  • An umbrella on my plate: we cut fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, carrots, cucumbers into half circles and little sticks and form colorful umbrellas out of them. In addition to all the fun and play, the children learn about shapes and eat a healthy meal!
  • Enjoy reading!

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