4 out of 4 stars
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Angels, Angels Everywhere by Susan M Branz is a 20 page picture book about Alieya, a young girl, and her interest in angels. Throughout her young life, Alieya’s mother has told her stories about God and the angels, and Alieya has always enjoyed admiring the beautiful, angelic figurines at her gram’s house. Alieya is very curious; she wonders about how the angels were created, what they look like, and where they live. In the story, Alieya explores these questions with her family.
The author shows true understanding of her intended audience. The curiosity and imagination of a young child are captured exceptionally well in the personality of the main character. It will be easy for young children to relate to Alieya and her thoughts. Further, the author’s attention to minor details, like Alieya’s pet cat, Tajo, who appears by her side throughout the narrative, really brings the story to life. Lastly, the length of the book is just right; the narrative is long enough to tell a meaningful story, but short enough to maintain the attention of young readers.
The watercolor illustrations are charming and striking. The choice of medium for the illustrations, along with the color palette used, give the images an ethereal feel; the illustrations align well with the themes of faith and God present in this book. The contrast between the warm and cool tones found in the illustrations adds to their appeal and really makes the images pop from the page. The illustrator, Ashley Bostanic, skillfully avoids cartoon-like images, and focuses on imaginative and expressive imagery, ensuring the pictures correlate to the words on the adjoining page and work to enhance the story. The combination of style, color choice, and expression give the illustrations a unique and harmonious feel. Though simple in some ways, the illustrations provide a cozy, homey feel that children and adults will find comforting.
The religious overtones in the story are clear yet subtle. The author expertly avoids preachy writing by focusing the story on Alieya and her connection to angels. The questions Alieya asks about angels come about organically; they don’t feel forced or obvious. Everything considered, Angels, Angels Everywhere seamlessly integrates religion with the delightful story of an inquisitive child.
Parents will enjoy the positive message and thoughtful illustrations found in Angels, Angels Everywhere. This is a book that can easily be read over and over; it is sure to become a bed-time favorite because of the comfortable and safe sentiment the story conveys. The well-crafted narrative coupled with the harmonious illustrations earns Angels, Angels Everywhere 4 out of 4 stars. This book is most appropriate for younger children, between the ages of 2 and 6, but would be just as enjoyable for older children as well. The mentions of faith are strongly related to Christian faith, so this book may not be appropriate for all families.
Angels, Angels Everywhere
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