Monday, February 21, 2011

Reason to love rain (#6)

For the literature! One of my favorites is the children's book "Umbrella" (1958) by Taro Yashima. (By the way, if either Lorelei or Mae is reading this post - stop now!! Because I want to get this book for your little girls one day). I adore this book's color palette, cityscape, the choice of perspectives, the way Yashima depicts the streak and fall of rain, but also the heartbreaking story.

"Vintage Kids' Books My Kids Love" sums up the effect of story beautifully as one which, at its conclusion, makes parents cry. It begins simply enough as being about a little girl who receives an umbrella as a gift and can barely wait until she can use it. But wait she must until it actually rains. Finally, a rainy day arrives and she is able to proudly and happily use her umbrella.

This alone would make for a charming and beautiful little picture book story, but then we get the following conclusion and a HUGE lump in our throats:

Momo is a big girl now,
and this is a story
she does not remember at all.
Does she remember or not,
it was not only the first day in her life
that she used her umbrella,
it was also the first day in her life
that she walked alone,
without holding either
her mother's or her father's hand.

Jeez - those last lines get me every time!

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