A beautiful little book (The Royal Tournament; Das grosse Ritterturnier) recently landed on my doormat.
It’s the fifth book in The Magic Umbrella series, aimed at readers aged 7-9 and published in Germany by Loewe Verlag GmbH as Der fabelhafte Regenschirm.
These delightful books have glossy, embossed hardback covers, and are illustrated on every page-spread by Naeko Ishida. They tell the story of four children and a dog, whisked off on magical adventures by a mysterious, battered, old umbrella.
Author Sarah Storm is supported by a production team at Working Partners Ltd, and I’ve been helping too. I’ve enjoyed doing some of the background research, especially learning a lot about the weather. The children’s grandfather is a retired meteorologist, and fittingly, his silky-coated spaniel is named Cirrus, after those feathery clouds.
The children’s adventures range from the surreal (Book 1: Topsy Turvy Town; Die verruckte Stadt) to the historic (Book 3, The World’s First Car; Eine bahnbrechende Erfindung).
I think Book 3 is my favourite. While researching this story, I found a replica of the Benz motor car at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum. Here I am, posing with it:
You can see how the car was started up, from this video on YouTube.
German readers can also look forward to The Magic Umbrella Book 6 (The Wrong Dinosaur; Das verschollene Dinosaurier-Ei), which is due to be released in January 2018. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover….
The Magic Umbrella books are fun and educational, and they’re a good next-step for young readers who enjoyed The Magic Tree House (Das magische Baumhaus). Find them on Loewe Verlag’s website or on Amazon.de
Now I just need a German-speaking 8-year old to read them to me!