|Book Reveiw 7-24
Sunday, December 21, 2008
By Denise Turney
The holidays are upon us and millions of children are excited about the prospects of what they might receive for Christmas. An Angel Just Like Me touches upon a subject that I often thought about as a child but that I heard few people discuss directly or do anything about. At the start of the story all of the children in the family except for young Tyler are busying themselves decorating the house.
Their parents are coming through the front door carrying a large Christmas tree. The atmosphere is festive. Everyone is happy and filled with joy including Tyler. The only difference is that Tyler is occupied with playing with Muffin, the family dog.
After awhile Tyler stops playing with Muffin and begins to help decorate the Christmas tree. As the story goes: ‘Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at the angel. . . .Tyler picked it up. “Why do angels all look like girls?” he asked. “Can’t boys be angels?”
It is those questions about angels that sends Tyler on his search to find an angel who looks like him. He visits department st ores, looks at cards and he even goes and visits with a Santa.
Nowhere does he find an angel who looks like him. All the angels he sees have pink faces and look like girls, not boys. But Tyler keeps looking. His search and his longing lead him to a wonderful gift which he, in turn, is excited to share with others.
When I was a little girl I wondered the same thing that Tyler wonders. Even today I wonder how many children whose skin is not pink wonder the same thing. Perhaps more children than we are aware wonder why most of the Santas and angels we see during the holidays do not look like them.
An Angel Just Like Me does a fabulous work in addressing this question through the eyes of a child. Honestly, even as a grown woman, I learned from reading this wonderful children’s book that comes to a close in a splendid and empowering way.
The writing is suited for a child’s mind but it also adeptly entertains and teaches adults. The illustrations throughout are strong and rich with a rainbow of colors. The book’s author, Mary Hoffman, has penned nearly 90 children’s books. Her works have earned her an Honorary Fellow of the Library Association for services to children and libraries.
She author edits the online quarterly children’s book review Armadillo. In 1992 her book Amazing Grace was selected for Children’s Book of the Year, commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal and added to the National Curriculum Reading List and became an international bestseller. Her writing is gentle, clear and concise. An Angel Just Like Me holds a message that can benefit millions, regardless of background. If you’re looking for a good book to sit down and read to your children, grandchildren or another child you take care of, An Angel Just Like Me is more than a treat – it’s a winner!
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