An Angel for Solomon Singer

An Angel for Solomon Singer

5.0 4
by Cynthia Rylant, Peter Catalanotto

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A lonely New York City resident finds companionship and good cheer at the Westway Cafe where dreams come true.


A lonely New York City resident finds companionship and good cheer at the Westway Cafe where dreams come true.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-- Solomon Singer is a middle-aged man who lives in a hotel for men in New York City. One night his solitary wanderings take him into a restaurant where he reads these words on the menu: ``The Westway Cafe -- where all your dreams come true. '' A soft-voiced waiter (metaphorically named Angel) welcomes him and invites him back. Each night Singer returns, ordering food and, silently, ordering his wishes for the things he remembers from an Indiana boyhood. Rylant has sketched a spare portrait, in flawless, graceful prose, of a man weighted down by hopelessness. Readers do not know the details of his circumstances, but they will feel his forlornness acutely. There is a symbolic and ambiguous quality to this book, which, despite its uplifting ending, is heightened by the illustrations. Catalanotto's signature watercolors have never been more affecting. He captures the smudgy nighttime murkiness of urban streets illuminated by artificial lights that float upward to become stars and bleed downward onto wet pavements to become a vision of midwestern wheat fields. This can be read as a familiar allegory in which the mysterious stranger represents the wish giver--the angel. It also works as a straightforward reminder that, in the face of staggering social problems, a smile in chance encounters has power. Not for the average story-hour crowd, but this title will be of great value to libraries in which whole language demands new creative uses for picture books for older readers, writers, and thinkers. --Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.54(w) x 10.98(h) x 0.12(d)
1120L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

CYNTHIA RYLANT is the acclaimed author of many beloved books for young people, including the Mr. Putter & Tabby series, the novel Missing May, which received the Newbery Medal, and the Little Whistle series. She lives on an island in Puget Sound, Washington. ARTHUR HOWARD is best known as the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's Mr. Putter & Tabby series. He is also the illustrator of Kathi Appelt's Bubba and Beau series and has written and illustrated three picture books of his own: Hoodwinked; When I Was Five, an ABA's Pick of the Lists and a Crayola Kids Best Book; and Cosmo Zooms, an IRA-CBC Children's Choice. He lives in New York City.

As a child in West Virginia, Cynthia Rylant never dreamed of becoming a writer. In her free time, she devoured Archie comic books and paperback romances and enjoyed the outdoors. But after taking one college English class, she was, “hooked on great writing… I didn’t know about this part of me until I went to college-didn’t know I loved beautiful stories.” And one night, inspired by the Southern writer James Agee, she sat down and wrote When I Was Young in the Mountains. Named a Caldecott Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book, it was an instant success.

Since that night, Rylant hasn’t stopped creating wonderful books. Her stories explore friendship, love, grief, and other mysteries, and often draw on her memories of growing up in Appalachia. “I get a lot of personal gratification thinking of those people who don’t get any attention in the world and making them really valuable in my fiction-making them absolutely shine with their beauty.”

She lives with her many pets in the Pacific Northwest.

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Angel for Solomon Singer 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my 5th grade class we read thisstory. It was wonderfull, and started many discussions, with theories and evidence and so on. I totally recomened i.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A man named Solomon Siger is lonley and doesn't have any freinds.It mackes him sad.Hedecides to take a walk and wonders off.He thinks of things that might cheer him up.When he wandered once he went into a cafe named The Westway Cafe and his life changed. I think the book is gereat.It shows how people can be sad and not have what they want. On the other hand,it also shows how people can help cheer someone up,and change their life. I think the authors purpose was that life can be better.That's why I like Cynthia Rylant,because at the end of a book there is a happy ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Solomon Singer was very lonely, he didn't get to do what he wanted. He then turns up at this wonderful place. He starts going there everynight and one night something happens that changes his life. I think that Cynthia Rylant wrote this book to show you can't always have what you want. She also to me tries to show that if you don't get what you want in life you can always imagine you have it. I liked this book because it teaches me a lesson about life. It shows that someone that who's life is boring can all of a sudden become joyful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is about a persin who hates his life and does'nt like where he lives. So he decides to take awalk through central park and he sees a diner that sias the west way cafe. he decides to eat there. Then he starts going to the diner every day but then that diner changes his life for ever. Cynthia rylant purpose to right this story was to say that in life you dont always get what you want but also you get your opportunities. My opinion about this book was to say that for the boring people who think life is boring there can be an angel for them out there.