Bibliographic Information: Yashima, Taro (1958). Umbrella. New York: Viking.
Plot Description: Momo is given two gifts on her third birthday: a pair of rubber boots and an umbrella. She is so excited that she wakes up in the middle of the night to look at them, but the next day it does not rain. Nor the next day, nor the next. Momo wants to use her umbrella, but the rain does not come. She thinks of other reasons besides rain, for using her umbrella, like to shield her eyes from the bright sun. Her mother tells her to save the umbrella for a rainy day, so she keeps waiting and waiting. Finally, after many days it rains. In her excitement to get out in the rain, Momo pulls on her boots without socks and rushes outside to experience the sound of rain on her very own umbrella for the first time.
Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile Measure: AD480L Interest Level: Lower Grades ATOS Book Level: 4
Qualitative Reading Analysis: Organization of the text structure is clear, chronological and easy to predict. Illustrations directly support and assist in the understanding of the story, but are not necessary for comprehension. The language is largely explicit and easy to understand, with some occasions for more complex meaning. For example, Momo thinks it is a very special day because she uses her umbrella for the first time. Her mother shares that even though Momo does not remember the events of the story, it is an important day in her life because it is the first time she walked alone, without holding one of her parent’s hands. The vocabulary is familiar, though some of the wording is a little strange, such as Momo asking, “Why the rain doesn’t fall?” because the character is a small child, who is still learning language. Sentences are mostly simple and compound, with some complex phrases. There are no references to other texts. Experiences of being excited about something will be common to readers and many will also know the frustrations of not being able to use something they are excited about having.
Content Area: Reading, Language Arts
Content Area Standard: English Language Arts Standards for Reading: Literature: Key Ideas and Details: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.English Language Arts Standards for Reading: Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration:
English Language Arts Standards for Speaking & Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
Curriculum Suggestions: Have students identify characters and discuss their actions. Have students compare characters lives to their own using Venn diagrams or semantic maps. Students retell the story in their own words.
Supporting Digital Content:
Awards: Caldecott Honor
Character names/descriptions: Momo is a three year old Japanese American girl living in New York City who loves the umbrella she got for her birthday and longs for the rain to come so she can finally use it.
Personal Thoughts: This is a sweet story that will be enjoyed by children and parents, as both will be able to relate to characters in the book.
High interest annotation: Momo can’t wait for it to rain so she can use her new birthday boots and umbrella