Cover image for Beneath a blue umbrella
Beneath a blue umbrella
Prelutsky, Jack.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
64 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A collection of short humorous poems in which a hungry hippo raids a melon stand, a butterfly tickles a girl's nose, and children frolic in a Mardi Gras parade.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 3-5 2.4 2 Quiz: 01078 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PS3566.R36 B4 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Clarence Library PS3566.R36 B4 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library PS3566.R36 B4 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library PS3566.R36 B4 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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From the puppies in Philadelphia to the piglets in Wichita, west to the Great Salt Lake (where the big green frog lives), and south to the Mardi Gras celebration -- here are poems and pictures for everyone to love. Ride a Purple Pelican confirmed Jack Prelutsky and Garth Williams's place in the hearts (and on the tongues) of young Americans. And Beneath a Blue Umbrella is a worthy successor. Here is a book for adults to share with children -- and for children to share with adults and with each other.

Author Notes

Jack Prelutsky, born on September 8, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, is primarily known as a poet for children but he is also a gifted musician, actor, photographer, sculptor and potter. Prelutsky studied at Hunter College for two years. He proposed to his future wife, Carolynn, on the day they met; she accepted the next day.

While growing up in Brooklyn, Prelutsky studied voice at The High School of Music and Art in New York and first planned to be an opera singer. However, he decided he did not have the drive to sing opera, and he became a folk singer. Later he tried his hand at drawing. For fun, he wrote some short poems and made some drawings, which became his first publication. He has since published numerous books of illustrated poetry and also provided illustrations for books by other writers, including many in translation.

Prelutsky never condescends to his young readers. He deals in verse with many imaginative creatures, but he also writes about people and problems such bullies, school, and fear of the dark. He is aware of the sound of his words and likes to perform his poetry to the accompaniment of the guitar. He visits schools and libraries to perform his work.

Jack Prelutsky is the recipient of numerous awards. In 1977 The Children's Book Council honored him for Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. His other award-winners are The Mean Old Mean Hyena, The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight, and The New Kid on the Block. In 2006, the Poetry Foundation named Prelutsky the inaugural winner of the Children's Poet Laureate award. His book Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems (illustrated by Carin Berger) won the 2007 Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award of the Washington State Book Awards in the Picture Book category.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like their previous Ride a Purple Pelican , this large-size 64-page collection contains a miscellany of gaily illustrated rhymes that trip lightly on the tongue. Interspersed among such silly characters as Anna Banana, Upside-down Roy or Jennifer Juniper are poems about animals, including a melon-swallowing hippo, a bobolink that marries a frog, and Patter Pitter Caterpillar. With characteristic style and slapdash verve, Prelutsky's verses celebrate creatures across the country, from the Iowa farmer who is plagued by crows to the puppies who steal pretzels in Philadelphia. Prelutsky's humor and pleasantly quirky view of the world are well matched by Williams's full-page lively illustrations that heighten the book's boisterous fun. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-- This collection of 28 rhymes by Mother Goose reincarnate Jack Prelutsky skips from setting to setting--from Philadelphia to Sedalia, Idaho to Montana--with energetic enthusiasm. The rhymes have humor and dash, and make wonderfully playful read-aloud material. (``Idaho Rose, dressed in polka-dot clothes,/ carries potatoes wherever she goes . . . '') Williams' full-page watercolor and ink paintings for each rhyme accurately, if not inspirationally, reflect the text. However, Prelutsky's skill in combining rhythm and rhyme makes up for any lack of depth in the illustrations. These bounding verses are eminently readable, not only because of the style and content but also because of the large, clear type and generous use of white space. In picture-book format, this appealing title should be as popular and useful as Prelutsky's Ride a Purple Pelican (Greenwillow, 1986) . A good addition to nursery-rhyme and early poetry collections. --Janice M. Del Negro, Chicago Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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