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The Umbrella Queen
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About the Author

Shirin Yim Bridges's first picture book, Ruby's Wish, won the Ezra Jack Keats Award and is on several state reading lists. She lives in Chicago, Illinois. Taeeun Yoo received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts. She is the author illustrator of The Little Red Fish. She lives in New York City.

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K-Gr 3-In a village high in the hills of Thailand, the people make umbrellas decorated with flowers and butterflies. Finally allowed to paint one, young Noot quickly demonstrates her talent to copy her mother's example, but when she's left on her own, she fills her umbrellas with fanciful elephants having fun and "being silly" instead of the expected designs. Her parents remind her that they earn their income by selling the traditional flower-and-butterfly umbrellas, and she knows that she must follow her mother's directions. But late at night, Noot continues to depict elephants on doll-size umbrellas, proudly arranging them on the windowsill. When the King arrives to choose this year's Umbrella Queen, the woman who has created the most beautiful design, he notices the miniatures and bestows the title upon Noot, because she "paints from her heart." Yoo's orange, green, and black colored linoleum prints wonderfully establish the tone for the story, which is related through gracefully told text. The delicately detailed images convey the characters' expressions as well as the loveliness of their creations. Narrative and artwork combine to tell a universal tale about individuality and following your heart to develop your talent.-Susannah Richards, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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