Angel Face

Angel Face

by Sarah Weeks, David Diaz
     
 

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You would know it anyplace -- my angel's face...

When a little boy wanders away while picking blackberries, his distraught mother enlists the help of Old Crow to find him. Her description of the child is so beautifully poetic that when the crow sees a child, who is as plain as a cricket, sleeping under a bush, he nearly flies on by. But on second thought, Old

Overview

You would know it anyplace -- my angel's face...

When a little boy wanders away while picking blackberries, his distraught mother enlists the help of Old Crow to find him. Her description of the child is so beautifully poetic that when the crow sees a child, who is as plain as a cricket, sleeping under a bush, he nearly flies on by. But on second thought, Old Crow decides to bring the child back rather than return empty-handed. As the mother joyfully wraps the boy in her arms, Old Crow realizes that every child is beloved and unique -- especially in his mother's eyes.

Sumptuous illustrations by Caldecott winner David Diaz and a complimentary CD performed by singer/songwriter Sarah Weeks make this book a breathtaking and tender celebration of a mother's love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Weeks (Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash) awkwardly balances prose and poetry in this sometimes lyrical if sentimental story of a boy who, intrigued by a butterfly, wanders off while his mother picks blackberries. After setting this scene in a wordy and stiff narrative, the author abruptly changes tempo and tone and switches to rhymed verses. The verses recount how a sleeping crow awakens to the crying of the mother, who begs the bird to find her missing son and explains how to recognize him: "Angel's eyes are dusty almonds, Angel's mouth's a mango sliver, Angel's skin is steeping tea, Angel's hair's a rushing river." The crow spots a boy asleep in a thicket, but because the child's face is "plainer than a cricket," he concludes that this can't be the extraordinary Angel. Readers may wonder why the author chose to describe the child this way. Nevertheless the crow does not want to reappear empty-handed, and he leads the lad to the woman, who welcomes her son with open arms. On an accompanying CD (see Children's Audio Notes, February 4), Weeks sings the verses in a clear, appealing voice of impressive range. Caldecott Medalist Diaz's (Smoky Night) intentionally grainy, large-scale pastels add brilliant, jewel-toned hues to the outdoor setting. The use of dotted and whorl patterns in the mother's old-fashioned clothing, the flowers and foliage enhances the visual appeal, while the artist's varying zoom-in, zoom-out focus helps relay to readers the mother's unconditional love for her son. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-While picking blackberries with his mother, Angel follows a butterfly until he roams out of earshot. His mother's cries catch the attention of Old Crow, whom she enlists to search for her son, using the poetic description: "Angel's eyes are dusty almonds,/Angel's mouth's a mango sliver,/Angel's skin is steeping tea,/Angel's hair's a rushing river-." It is at this point that the narrative switches from prose to poetry; the description becomes a repeated refrain; the humor fades. While the opening scene is presented upside down (the blackberries fall up into the bucket, because Angel is standing on his head), ensuing scenes are more melodramatic. Some of the compositions are a bit awkward, due to the depictions of the mango, spoon, almond, etc. in the backgrounds. The blackberry stains on the child's shirt disappear and reappear throughout the story-a minor quibble. The folksy style of the layered pastels is well suited to the breathy vibrato of the author's musical version of the story on the accompanying CD. This brilliantly hued, sentimental package will undoubtedly find its audience, but given the crowded genre, it is not an essential purchase.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
While picking blackberries with his mother, a little boy is enticed by a blue butterfly and wanders away. His mother persuades Old Crow to find the child and begins describing her Angel Face to him. Old Crow begins looking for the child with dusty almonds for eyes, a mango sliver for a mouth, and hair like a rushing river, but Old Crow can only find a little boy with a face that is "plainer than a cricket." Not wanting to return to the distraught woman empty-handed, he wakes the boy and leads him back to her. She immediately embraces the little boy, repeating her claims of his beauty. She tells Old Crow, "I knew you'd know it anyplace, my Angel's Face." The rhyming couplets and rich, descriptive language make the text as beautiful as the artwork swirling around it. Richly colored illustrations rendered in pastel on textured paper fill each double-paged spread. With a nod to the folk-art tradition, the paintings could stand alone from the text They are softer than Caldecott Medalist Diaz's (Roadrunner's Dance, 2000, etc.) usual work and a perfect accompaniment. A CD by the author-songwriter is included. A tribute to the unique beauty of every child and the special love of a mother for her son. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689833021
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
04/28/2002
Edition description:
BOOK & CD
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.94(w) x 11.56(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Weeks has written many books for children, including If I Were a Lion, Paper Parade, Angel Face, So B. It, and Two eggs, please. She lives in New York City. When Sarah can't get to sleep, she goes through the alphabet in her head, trying to think of people she knew in elementary school whose names begin with each letter.

DAVID DIAZ has been an illustrator and graphic designer for more than twenty-five years. His children’s book illustrations have earned him many honors and awards, including the Caldecott Medal for Smoky Night by Eve Bunting. He also illustrated the Newbery Medal winner, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, The Gospel Cinderella by Joyce Carol Oates, Angel Face by Sarah Weeks, and Little Scarecrow’s Boy by Margaret Wise Brown, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. His bold, stylized work has appeared in editorials for national publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, and The Atlantic Monthly. He lives in Carlsbad, California, and more of his work can be seen at diazicon.com.

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