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Publishing is in a terrible place. People are buying fewer books, Borders is closing stores after not paying the publishing companies, there is less shelf space, no one knows what the e-book will mean, it is dismal. I personally trace it all back to the death of the mid-list author. Now the marketers and bookselling giants who committed this murder are reaping the results. Because it is the richness and diversity of the mid-list that brings people in to book stores and keeps them browsing. A thousand iterations of the same old vampire, suspense, and romance books gets tedious, and no one wants to look at them anymore.
Editors are freaked out and terrified to take chances. Really great books that don’t fall into neat little categories aren’t being published. Like this one, The Yellow Umbrella by Bruce Dunn.
Fortunately, self-publishing is becoming less expensive, more popular, more respected. Which is a wonderful turn of events. The publishing system is broken, and authors who wait for the old ways to vindicate their writing efforts are waiting for Godot. Bruce Dunn walked into my husband Sabin’s gallery at 300 E 22nd and fell into conversation with Sabin, then gifted a copy of his self-published book to Sabin for our daughter.
And what a great gift. The Yellow Umbrella is charming. From the graceful opening pages, which relate the narrator’s memories of trips into a magical house with a little blond Lina who told stories, until the last moment when a Lady gives Lina back her long-lost, adventure-laden umbrella–it is sweet, absorbing, poignant. The illustrations are whimsical and evocative.
My 6 year old daughter loves it. She’s an advanced reader for her age, but I would put the range of readers for this book as 5 to 9 year olds. So if you are a parent, sibling or friend to kids from 5 to 9–order The Yellow Umbrella by Bruce Dunn from Amazon. It’s a treat for your young friend.

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  1. I totally agree! My son also loved this book and has read it numerous times now. He says we must go back to New York and see if we can find Lina’s house.