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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Umbrellas and Parasols

With the weather as searing hot as it has been this week, you'd be foolish to venture out to the beach without an umbrella to sit under!

Umbrellas are clever devices, especially those that now fold up to a tiny 6" package, which you can fit into a pocket or bag. Who invented the first umbrella? Wikipedia has a history of the umbrella, and gives a nod to Egypt, here. A look at several sources, though, reveals that it was either the Egyptians or the Chinese, but whoever it was, umbrellas have been around for a long time!

Contemporary artists have found umbrellas to be an inspiration, and a surprising number have created installations featuring umbrellas. Eighteen such installations can be found here.

If you thought that umbrellas wouldn't be featured in many of the library's materials, you'd be mistaken! From children's picture books to French films, umbrellas take center stage! Look for one of these the next time you visit:

Brett, Jan. The Umbrella. [JP BRE]

Estes, Eleanor. The Lost Umbrella of Kim Chu. [J EST]

Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella. [J DVD VEG]

Umbrellas of Cherbourg. [VIDEO UMB]

I'd like to highlight a brand new book The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na [JP NA]. It is a simple story about an elephant who finds a "thingamabob" and ponders its use. Even the endpapers are delightful with multicolored umbrellas splashed across them!

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