Jonas Hanway’s Scurrilous, Scandalous, Shockingly Sensational Umbrella by Josh Crute

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

❤️ Learning about how the umbrella was introduced to England.

What Didn’t Work:

👎 Big words that a young child may not know made it difficult to follow.

My Synopsis:

This children’s book tells the story of how umbrellas were introduced to London by Jonas Hanway. we are introduced to Jonas, who is quite a grumpy man and does not like to get wet! All of London just deals with the wet environment, but Jonas is sick of it. He travels the world for a place that does not get rain and stumbles upon umbrellas being used in other places. He brings an umbrella back home with him and uses it for 30 years while people snicker at him.

How I Felt:

I had a lot of feelings about this book. I was SO excited to receive this book. The cover is fabulous and I thought it would be a great book for my kids to learn about umbrellas. It is a cute story and the illustrations throughout the entire book are absolutely stunning! The wording used though, cause a lot of problems for me.

The title of this book is Jonas Hanway’s Scurrilous, Scandalous, Shockingly Sensational Umbrella. I love the alliteration, it’s a fun way to title this story. Those are big words for a 5-8 year old, which is where this book is targeted. My daughter is six years old and we sat down to read this book, and at first, she giggled at the big words, but soon, she became quite bogged down in trying to understand what the story was saying. I love introducing new words into my children’s vocabulary. It’s obviously very important to their development, but the mixture of mizzles and scurrilous and coaches (as in carriage) ended up causing a lot of questions.

It wasn’t just big words, it was also the way the story was told. I think that the writing was clever but may have covered too many topics. My daughter was completely confused about why the coach drivers would care about his umbrella and attack him. I had to stop the story and explain what a coach was, why people used them, how that was a source of income for the coachmen, etc. That portion could have been completely removed and it would have helped the flow of the story.

I did enjoy that the end of the book has a timeline of umbrellas throughout the world as well as some historical information about Jonas Hanway. I think that information would be very useful in a classroom (or home school) setting.

Overall, this was an interesting premise for a book but was a bit difficult for a young child to understand.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Jonas Hanway’s Scurrilous, Scandalous, Shockingly Sensational Umbrella for children that are interested in how things are discovered or used. It is a good book for a school or learning environment. I would suggest that it be used for older children 7-9 age range.

Where to Find This Book:

Jonas Hanway’s Scurrilous, Scandalous, Shockingly Sensational Umbrella by Josh Crute is available at these sites. | Amazon | Goodreads


Sometimes in London it drizzles. Sometimes it mizzles. Other times it pelts and showers and spits. And Jonas Hanway hates getting wet. How can he go about his day as a proper London gentleman when his shoes are soggy, his coat is always collecting puddles, and his wig looks like a wet cat? Fed up with damp and dreary London, Jonas sails far away, to places where the sun always shines. But what he sees when he gets there is…. scandalous! Shocking! Sensational! Perhaps also…quite genius? Now all Jonas has to do is convince the rest of London that they need an umbrella, too.

All about the real gentleman who introduced umbrellas to 1750’s London society, this is the perfect story of persistence, problem-solving, and how good ideas hold (off) water.

Just the Facts:

Jonas Hanway’s Scurrilous, Scandalous, Shockingly Sensational Umbrella by Josh Crute
Illustrator: Eileen Ryan Ewan
Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction
Page Count: 40 pages
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Pub Date: May 12, 2020


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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