Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Zig and the Magic Umbrella

Zig and the Magic Umbrella

Sylvie Kantorovitz
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Penguin, 2015   ISBN: 978-0803739130

One grey, windy, rainy day Zig wakes up. He looks out of the window and he sees that something red is being blown towards his home. He grabs the umbrella (for that it what it is) by its handle and he is pulled up and way.

   Zig is carried across the sky until he arrives at a beautiful place. The umbrella gently drifts down and then Zig explores. He wonders who lives in this new place and calls out “Yoo-hoo!” Without warning, a little yellow bird flies around Zig and then lands on his hand. A tear slides down the little bird’s face and Zig asks it what is wrong.

   The bird then flies away, making it clear that it wants Zig to follow it, which Zig does. Zig floats across water, climbs a cliff, and crosses a gorge following the little yellow bird until they come to a place where a big beast is lying fast asleep. The little yellow bird indicates that it wants Zig to move a big rock that is blocking a cave opening, and it is clear that they have to achieve this feat without waking the beast. There is something behind the rock that the little bird wants to get to very badly, but the rock is so heavy that even Zig cannot move it. Then Zig gets an idea. Maybe he will be able to help the little bird after all.

   In this unique picture book we get to experience a wonderful adventure, and we also get to see something magical happen; we witness the birth of a friendship. There is something so endearing about Zig, a little blue being who has antennae and a sweet smile, and it is interesting to explore his world with him, a world where there are delightfully strange plants and animals.