The Green Umbrella


by Jackie Azúa Kramer and Maral Sassouni (NorthSouth, 2016)

Here’s a gorgeous book that’s got it all. Beautiful language, lovely pictures, and a story that is rich in both originality and familiarity. It’s out early next month, and I’m so excited to bring you this sneak peek today.

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An umbrella. An ordinary thing. But this particular umbrella has been around the block and had many adventures with other animals. It is, then, something that belongs to everyone. An ordinary thing with an extraordinary job.


Here’s a note from illustrator Maral Sassouni about her process for this book:

My work is mixed media, a hybrid of traditional and digital methods. Specifically, the images are a mélange of cut paper collage and painting, with oil paint, acrylics, and inks. The characters are generally created separately, like little paper puppets, which I then glue to the painted setting, along with any foreground elements. I use Photoshop (when necessary) to digitally assemble hand-made collage elements and occasionally add some sparkle and glow where needed.


Sparkle and glow! Isn’t it lovely?  1mice-cover3-h700 1sq-mouse3-hand-r-skb 1sq-elephant3-treetop 1sq-cat10-palette9-tilt-v2 1hedgi5-hand-vgd 1hedgeboat3-BEST-c


Big thanks to NorthSouth and Maral Sassouni for the images in this post.


  • Posted January 17, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    This is gorgeous. Thank you very much for sharing <3

  • Claire Bobrow
    Posted January 17, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    What a magical book! Thanks for giving us an advance look at the beautiful illustrations.

  • Posted January 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Georgeous illustrations!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I love the pictures of the artists holding the characters. I’m charmed.

  • Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s finally here! Jackie Kramer’s agent spoke at an Eastern PA conference I attended a few summers ago. He spoke about the marriage of text and pictures to make the perfect picture book, and then he read the text of a manuscript he loved so much he offered the writer representation. It was the Green Umbrella! I’m so looking forward to reading this book. I already know I will love the magical text and with this sneak peek, the illustrations look lovely. A perfect marriage, indeed!

  • Posted January 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Happy to see it’s on order at my library. It looks gorgeous! Thanks for the alert, Carter!

  • Martin Segal
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Excited to get a glimpse of the beautiful artwork in this book. Can’t wait to read The Green Umbrella!

  • Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful book! Can’t wait to see it in print.

  • Posted January 21, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Wow – I love these pictures. I can’t wait for the book to come out. Put it on my Goodreads list. Thank you Carter for highlighting this one.

  • Posted January 31, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I won’t wait for a rainy day to read this one.

  • Posted May 8, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful story and beautiful illustrations!