Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Travel the World: South Korea: Yellow Umbrella.

In today's edition of Travel the World, I am featuring Yellow Umbrella by Jae Soo Liu. This book isn't exactly new--the first American edition being published in 2002--and it isn't exactly unknown since it got some high praise when it first released including being named one of the New York Times Best Illustrated books of the year (2002). But it is new-to-me. Or relatively new-to-me.

I first read Yellow Umbrella last fall. I loved it. I really really loved it. But since it is a wordless picture book, I felt somewhat at a loss of what to say. But I've decided to be brave and venture forth into new territory. If my review doesn't do it justice, you'll just have to trust me that it is worth it. Worth finding and reading yourself.

The book Yellow Umbrella comes with a CD. For the full experience, readers are urged to listen to the CD while 'reading' or 'sharing' the book. An interesting concept in my opinion. A wordless picture book whose story is told by music--by melody--and by illustrations. It's a completely different experience than you might expect. It's all about mood and tone. I'm not sure everyone will love it. But I urge you to read and see for yourself. You might just find it as delightful as I did.

The CD is 27 minutes. The track needed for reading the story is a little over 7 minutes long. The rest of the CD are "extra" bits that make it just that much more fun of an experience.

Thoroughly appropriate for use as "art appreciation" or "music appreciation" or the more complex aspects of storytelling. It also makes for a great shared experience on a rainy day.

The publisher is Kane/Miller. It was originally published in South Korea.


Jill said...

I love this book! We check it out of the library regularly (in fact, we have it out right now). My girls think it's so much fun to listen to the music and turn the pages, and see how the music changes at different places in the book. I especially enjoy the way it makes them think about art and music mixing together to create something new and different. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip on this book. I'm always looking for fun and unusual books to send to my nephews and nieces, and this sounds like a perfect one. I may keep a copy for myself as well!

Melissa said...

This does sound like a fascinating book -- I'll have to keep an eye out for it (I may have to do some digging, but it sounds like it'll be worth it!).

softdrink said...

I love the pictures! You did a great job...I would never even have thought of reviewing a wordless book.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I've never heard of this book and I would have to agree that you did an awesome job reviewing the wordless piece. I like this concept of music and flipping pages on a rainy day as a shared experience. I'll certainly look into this one. This review is one of the very reasons I am am thrilled to have signed up for this reading challenge.