The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

Images and text by Carter, The Blue Umbrella poster by Pixar.

Some of my favorite reads this year have been wordless picture books. There’s something so enchanting about reading a story with no words and solely reading its visual narrative. It’s how kids read before they can decode the words, right? Perhaps that’s why settling in with a wordless book is so comfortable. It’s a cross between a homecoming and a thrill.

The Umbrella walks that same tightrope of danger and wonder. A scrappy black dog finds a red umbrella at the start of a wild and windy storm, and gets whisked away across the world. An elephant rescues him from hovering alligators at attention. A swarming school of fish shoots him a curious eye. He swings from vines on that umbrella just like the monkeys – and thank goodness there’s a watchful pelican nearby to swoosh him smack out of the way of impending doom!

The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

It’s a lovely story. A treat for the eyes, heart, and soul, truly. I’m reminded of another umbrella story with just as much joy and just as few words – Pixar’s short film, “The Blue Umbrella.” If you saw Monsters University in the theater this summer, you’ve seen it! I can’t wait until the release of the entire short, cause this teaser is breathtaking. Blue umbrella, meet red umbrella. You are joyfully different in a slick, wet, gray world. A minute from a short that is nothing short of spectacular is right here. Enjoy!

The Blue Umbrella

P.S. – The Umbrella is a few years old, but some of my favorites from this year are wordless! We talked about Bluebird here, but Flora and the Flamingo, The Boy and the Airplane, and Journey are all worth a billion looks.