“Up in the sky, amongst the stars there’s something you might not see…” That’s the first line in Under the Love Umbrella, by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys. After reading it my kids immediately headed to the window, drew back the blind and searched the stars. That tiny moment is engraved on my heart and secured a place for Under the Love Umbrella in my top cuddle’n read books.
The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade, also created by this electric duo, pulled on the heartstrings and this beautiful book does too. I say electric, because their work is uplifting, spirited, and sincere. Storylines are stirring, colours are fluorescent and fun. We’re touched by their tenderness and invigorated by their brightness.
The umbrella is used as a symbol of love and protection. “When everything is strange and new, on days when you need super glue, there’s so much room here just for you, under my love umbrella.” The story continues with other scenarios where a child might feel embarrassed, upset or sad, and gives reassurance that no matter what happens they can find safety and comfort in the arms of those who love them, because our “love for [them] goes on forever.”
Seems fitting that since I began with the first line from this book, I should end with the last. “Who’s under your umbrella?” Our beyond the book activity was simple yet wonderful. I typed out this last line and, on some sheets, I made a love umbrella for my kids to colour in. On others, I left it blank so they could imagine their own love umbrellas. Underneath, we drew our loved ones. Love them. Love this book!