Meet Plip. Plip is a man, a man like any other, but he is a very unhappy man and the incessant rain really gets him down.
At first, Plip hardly noticed the rain and he assumed it would stop, but the rain followed him wherever he went and soon he was soaked to the skin.
So in utter despair and desperation, Plip decides to become an umbrella man.
For a while he enjoyed his waterproof life, sheltered under the dry safety of his umbrella head and he could finally feel his heavy, wet heart drying out.
But life as an umbrella man was a lonely one and not quite what he hoped it would be.
He took solace in the fact that he was dry and for that, he believed he should be grateful.
Surely life would be better now he was dry and protected from the constant rain beating down over his head?
But when he meets and falls in love with an umbrella woman, he soon realises that this absurd, clumsy umbrella love isn’t meant to be and he becomes enraged.
Plip’s umbrella head turns inside out and the torrential rain gets caught inside, ultimately the flood spills out in one huge outpouring of emotion.
Cleverly written by David Sire, this story tackles anger, self-confidence, love and uncertainty, coupled with strong imagery, we believe it is perfect for young readers, but also an older audience too.
There is a strong emotional element to this book and sense of utter despair is abundantly apparent.
The metaphorical use of rain to depict his emotions may be lost on the younger reader, but nevertheless an great prompt to explore the concept of how we all cope differently with our feelings.
Thomas Baas uses a limited, three-colour process to further italicise the feelings of bleakness and sadness, but with a clever injection of a warm orangey/red to offer a feeling of hope towards the end of the book.
The perfect precursor to get young people discussing, facing up to and tackling their own emotions.