My four-year-old son and I are reading about the Amazon rainforest as a theme right now. Our fiction favorite this time around was The Umbrella by Jan Brett. Carlos, who lives in Costa Rican rainforest, walks to the nearby rainforest to spy on the animals. He places his umbrella on the ground and climbs a tree to get a look. While he is unable to see anything up high in the tree, the animals all clamor onto the umbrella for a surprising adventure together.
From the toucan and baby leopard to the shy baby tapir and precious tree frog, the animals are exquisitely detailed in Jan Brett’s wonderful style. Another nice touch is that the animals speak to each other with a few Spanish words mixed in with their English dialogue. I loved the contrast between Carlos in the tree, not having any luck spying on animals, and all the animals down below enjoying the umbrella adventure.