The Big Umbrella is the perfect book to start conversations about inclusion in preschool and kindergarten. The main character is a big red ,friendly and helpful umbrella that welcomes everyone under its arms – no matter whether they are tall, round, hairy, or even four-legged.
The illustrations are the key to the success of this book in the classroom. As other characters enter the story, they are not represented with faces. Instead, children recognize the attributes of each character, enabling students to clearly notice the diversity in the characters . It was interesting for these young learners to think about whether the umbrella actually grows, or if
the people underneath continue to make more space.
After reading The Big Umbrella, students launched into a conversation about including all our friends in games during recess, and the importance of making room for everyone. I even heard one student yell, “let’s be like the big umbrella and let everyone play.”
” I like that the umbrella gets bigger and everybody can get under it to stay dry.” Henry, age 4
“I want to turn into a big umbrella and play with all my friends.” Parker, age 4