Angels Watching Over Me


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What better way to reassure a young child than with the words of a soft, soothing spiritual exuberantly expanded by author Julia Durango and intricately ...

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Every hour...
every minute...
every second...

What better way to reassure a young child than with the words of a soft, soothing spiritual exuberantly expanded by author Julia Durango and intricately illuminated by award-winning artist Elisa Kleven.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Durango (Dream Hop) found inspiration in the African-American spiritual "All Night, All Day" to craft this picture book adaptation that emphasizes the comforting thought of heavenly angels watching over those of us on Earth. Rhyming couplets take a child from sunrise to sunset, imagining all the ways "All day, all night" that the angels send their vigilant protection ("Day begins, dawn breaks anew/ Sun wakes up, I wake up too"/... "Bird says sing, I hum a tune./ Cloud floats by, a lace balloon"). Some of the poetic imagery will likely challenge picture book readers who are used to a linear plot, but the melody of the language and its reverence for the natural world are sure to spark interest. Kleven's mixed-media compositions-watercolor, ink, collage and colored pencil-convey an appropriately dream-in-flight feeling, often utilizing an aerial perspective. Many young ones will find both wonder and reassurance in her depiction of angels-animals and children from around the globe hovering above the treetops sporting a variety of wings-and bucolic landscapes. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Julia Durango has done an expansion of a traditional African-American spiritual that is a wonderful celebration of nature's dawn to dusk cycle. Each short stanza in the song builds on the one before so that the couplet beginning "Sky says race, I race the wind..." is followed by "Wind says soar, I take up flight…" and so on until the dusk brings the moon and "Moon says dream…" But it is Elisa Kliven's wonderfully intricate watercolors that make this book so distinctive. In many ways, the pictures echo and expand the cyclical, spiraling flow of the song. The three spreads illustrating the refrain "All night, all day, angels watching over me" include similar elements of children holding hands, birds, and habitations, but go from a close-up view to one someone might see from a spaceship—or from heaven! The lyrics almost do sing themselves, but it would have been nice to have a musical arrangement at the back of the book.
School Library Journal

PreS - Gr 5 - This is simply a glorious book. Basing her text on a familiar African-American spiritual, Durango adds her own verses to the refrain: "All night, all day . . . /angels watching over me." Kleven interprets these words by depicting joyous celestial beings of every description (a lion, an elephant, boys and girls of different cultures, small animals, birds), all circling together holding hands against a bright blue sky and looking down at the colorful world. The narrative and artwork burst with life, color, and happiness, as a young boy greets a new day ("Day begins, dawn breaks anew./Sun wakes up, I wake up too") and spends it outdoors enjoying nature with the creatures of the Earth, while occasionally floating into the sky to soar with the angels for the song's refrain. In the evening ("Grass says rest, I curl up snug./Dusk surrounds me like a hug"), one of his new friends gently carries him home to sleep. The breathtaking folk-style illustrations are fashioned with watercolor, ink, colored pencil, and collage. Text and pictures radiate a sense of peace, security, and oneness with all living things. The words "my Lord" have been omitted from the refrain, and there are no references to specific religious beliefs, making the book a beautiful nondenominational paean to creation and the Earth's many blessings.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689862526
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/27/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 805,503
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Durango resides in Ottawa, Illinois, where she wrote a weekly book review column for children. She is the mother of two sons and is the author of Dream Hop, illustrated by Jared Lee, as well as Pest Fest, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus. Her work also includes Go-Go Gorillas, a sequel to Cha-Cha Chimps, both illustrated by Eleanor Taylor and Dream Away, illustrated by Robert Goldstrom. Her first novel The Walls of Cartagena was a Junior Library Guild Selection. Her most recent novel is entitled Sea of the Dead. She is a contributor the Three Silly Chicks blog and lives in Ottawa, Illinois.

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