Monday, January 11, 2021

JONAS HANWAY'S SCURRILOUS, SCANDALOUS, SHOCKINGLY SENSATIONAL UMBRELLA by Josh Crute.  Illus by Eileen Ryan Ewen.  Salem, MA:  Page Street Publishing, 2020. 42p. ISBN 978-1624148859 hc. $18.99     Gr. 1-3     J 609.2

Learn the history of the umbrella through the personal story of its English promoter, Jonas Hanway.  In 1750, covered coaches were used by the English gentry to keep dry when it rained, while poor people used umbrellas, because they could afford little more.  Jonas was tired of getting wet in the rainy climate and embarked on extensive travel, discovering that people all over the world used umbrellas to shield themselves from rain and bright sun.  He boldly began a trend of taking the umbrella with him around London, and actually using it, even though the act was below his social status. A Brief History of Umbrellas follows a paragraph about Jonas Hanway.  The alliterative text rolls off the reader’s tongue, and the rhyming vocabulary is charming.  The text is witty and sparse to make room for the glorious ink and watercolor illustrations that transport readers back in time to merry old England.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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