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The Elephant’s Umbrella

Laleh Jaffari, Ali Khodai (illus)
Tiny Owl
Age 3-5

The elephant is very proud of his umbrella and happy to share its shelter with the other animals. One windy day the umbrella is swept away and is found by a leopard and later a bear. These animals don’t want to share the umbrella, they have much more selfish ideas. The umbrella decides she wants to find the elephant again and asks the wind to help, elephant is a much more thoughtful owner.

A beautifully illustrated story about generosity and kindness.


Share the story

Watch the trailer

Read aloud
Before you start reading the story look at the cover illustration together, and talk about the animals sheltering under the umbrella.

Join in
As you read it again children might like to join in with the conversations between the umbrella and the leopard and bear ‘What a lovely umbrella! Will you be mine?’ ‘If I become yours where will you take me when it rains?’ etc

Talk about the story
Talk about the different characters and what they thought about the umbrella, which character children liked and why.
On rainy days talk about whether it is ‘drizzling’ or ‘pouring’


Things to make and do

Play the story
Use soft toys and act out the story together you could use a children’s umbrella if you have one or improvise with a paper plate for example.

Make a new scene for the story
What other animals might find the umbrella and what might they want to do with it? Make up another ‘scene’ for the story. You could write down children’s idea in a folded book and they could illustrate

Print a picture
Make a rainy day picture, use bubble wrap and paint it blue. Press onto paper to make big rain drops. Before printing you could cut out a shape in the bubble wrap to be a dry patch. When the print has dried children could draw the elephant sheltering under his umbrella in the dry patch.

Paint with rain
See here for ideas for using rainwater to create interesting paintings

Find out more
Download a poster here

Do some science
What material would make the best umbrella for elephant? Try an experiment together.

You will need:
a bucket
a soft toy
a watering can
some different materials eg plastic, card, fabric, paper.

Put a toy elephant or other toy animal in a bucket. Place one of the materials on top.

Sprinkle water from the watering can over toy in bucket. Look at the toy, is it damp? Can children find out which material would make the best umbrella? NB You might need to change the toy if it gets soggy!