Under The Love Umbrella by Davina Bell, Illustrated by Allison Colpoys
This sweet, soulful book is an explosion of colour and warmth.
“Up in the sky, amongst the stars there’s something you might not see … But over your head and just above there’s an umbrella of my love to show it’s you I’m thinking of wherever you might me’.
The book taps into the real every day fears of children, covering fear of the dark, loud noises, change and anxiety. The message is one of support. My 6 year old seemed to be able to identify with some of the scenarios. It was me that was almost in tears at the little boy who had an accident and looked so ashamed. My son laughed! It could be that the poor lad was dressed as an elephant with a yellow puddle round his feet <rather than my first born being a callous deviant!>.
The topics and emotions are relevant to potty-trainers, nursery and school-starters or any young child with worries or fears. I don’t know if the children will overtly notice, but the book is realistically diverse from Brian and his two mums, to Izzy being collected by her Grandma and Joe carrying his favourite doll. I love that these are just part of the fabric of the book.
Beautiful quality hardback with embossed silver fireworks on the cover and thick matt pages. The vivid luminous colours and bonkers patterns are a feast for the eyes.
In places we found the rhythm of the words a little off-beat, which interrupted the flow slightly. But the images are so beautifully full of emotion and there are some absolute stand out lines for me.
“My love for you goes on forever” “Be still, breathe deep wherever you sleep you’re under my love umbrella”.
The words and pictures are accessible for little ones and I’d say this book is suitable for children 2 – 5 years. Although my 6 year old enjoyed trying to spot the umbrella’s hidden on the pages and starting to read the words himself. It would be lovely to see their next book cover themes for the slightly older children, with the same background of warmth and joyous colour.
This is every parent’s love song to their child and a comforting hug of a book.
Available for £11.99 at Waterstones or Amazon.