Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Ella’s Umbrellas

Lloyd, Jennifer (Author)
Spires, Ashley (Illustrator)
Simply Read Books 2009. 32 pages
First published: 2009
ISBN: 9781897476239 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Ella has too many umbrellas. Some are pink or turquoise, tangerine or jellybean green. Some sparkle, or have stripes, speckles or spots. Her favourite is “robin’s egg blue,” given to her by Aunt Stella “from far-off Kathmandu.” One day, her mother insists she get rid of her unwieldy collection as her Aunt is coming to visit and there is no room for her. Ella is half-hearted in her attempt, but when it starts to rain, her wagon full of umbrellas proves useful. She learns that it feels good to give things away and make room for what matters.

Quirky watercolours full of expression show Ella’s mom with hands on hips or thrown up in the air and a little girl bewildered by having to part with her beloved possessions. Mauve tones dominate the backgrounds, offsetting the multicoloured umbrellas.

The text is full of life, with a lovely use of rhythm, repetition and internal rhymes throughout. Her mother gets in a tizzy and cries out: “Aunt Stella will have no place to hang her coat! Aunt Stella will have no place to put her clothes! Aunt Stella will have no place to sleep!”

There is exuberance in Ella’s generosity as she protects passers-by from the rain: the cold crossing-guard, some soggy day camp children and even a dog. When Aunt Stella arrives, she has a special surprise for her: a perfectly wonderful emerald green umbrella.

  •  

    On a picture walk, make predictions about the characters, plot and setting. Reflect on, add to and revise your predictions as you read.

  •  

    In small groups or partners, brainstorm ideas for what Ella could do with her umbrellas. Share and compare your ideas with the class.

  •  Draw and write to show what lesson you think Ella learns from giving away her umbrellas. Make a text-to-self or text-to-text connection with the book.
  •  

    What would your dream umbrella look like? Draw and label a diagram to show what it looks like.

  •  

    On a picture walk, make predictions about the characters, plot and setting. Reflect on, add to and revise your predictions as you read.

  •  

    In small groups or partners, brainstorm ideas for what Ella could do with her umbrellas. Share and compare your ideas with the class.

  •  

    Do you have a collection? Using photographs or realia, write about a few favourite elements in your collection. Use the text as a model. How do you store your items? Present your favouritesto other groups at a collector’s fair.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Visual Arts