Back of Book:
Sometimes in London, it drizzles. Sometimes it drizzles. Other times it pelts and showers and spits. And Jonas Hanway hates getting wet. How can he go about his day as a proper London gentleman when his shoes are soggy, his coat is always collecting puddles, and his wig looks like a wet cat? Fed up with damp and dreary London, Jonas sails far away, to places where the sun always shines. But what he sees when he gets there is…. scandalous! Shocking! Sensational! Perhaps also…quite genius? Now all Jonas has to do is convince the rest of London that they need an umbrella, too.
I received a copy of this picture book from Page Street Kids in exchange for an honest review.
I am always excited to find fun nonfiction biographies that teach readers about everyday objects and how they were used long ago. This one, about Jonas Hanway’s introduction of the umbrella to Londoners in the 18th Century, is a well written and fascinating look at the importance of umbrellas. The story follows a man named Jonas Hanway who hated to get wet the problem was he lived in London where it is almost always raining. Jonas decided to travel to a place where it never rained. When he came to Persia, he was amazed to see an umbrella. Jonas shocked London society by beginning to use one every day. “it’s not what we do,” the people would say. Eventually, people changed their mindsets, and they had Jonas Hanway to thank.
The text is well researched and the use of alliteration is well used throughout the story. The text also uses plenty of words that children may have never heard before which enriches their vocabulary. The illustrations by Eileen Ryan Ewan burst with vibrant color and movement. She captured each area in a beautiful way. The back of the book has more information about Jonas and his headstrong ideas. There is also a brief history of umbrellas. This is a good book for a school or learning environment to teach readers about the different ways that people use umbrellas.
Ages 6 and up
Back of Book: