A beautifully illustrated Christmas story from one of the world's most loved writers. In 'Angela and the Baby Jesus', McCourt revisits his mother's childhood. Set in Limerick at the turn of the century, 'Angela and the Baby Jesus' is the story of the Christmas when Angela was six and concerned about the baby Jesus on the altar of St. Joseph's ...
A beautifully illustrated Christmas story from one of the world's most loved writers. In 'Angela and the Baby Jesus', McCourt revisits his mother's childhood. Set in Limerick at the turn of the century, 'Angela and the Baby Jesus' is the story of the Christmas when Angela was six and concerned about the baby Jesus on the altar of St. Joseph's Church near School House Lane where her family lived. The story is written in the voice in which Frank McCourt's told his internationally bestselling and award winning 'Angela's Ashes'. The story is illustrated by Loren Long. Like Dylan Thomas' 'A Child's Christmas in Wales', it is for readers of all ages.
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Frank McCourt tells the true story of his mother's childhood Christmas adventure. Angela believes the baby Jesus statue in the nativity display at church is cold. She decides to bring the statue home and warm him up in her bed! Kids will surely giggle as they recognize the typical parent/child interaction as Angela's brother tattles and mother discovers the 'guest' in her daughter's bed. Mother decides that the Christ Child be returned tonight! But how could they know the parish priest and police would be waiting? A fun book for kids and parents alike.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-10-22 Not one but two editions suffice to publish this sure crowd-pleaser by the celebrated McCourt, inspired by a childhood experience of the mother made famous in Angela's Ashes. The plot can be reduced to anecdote: six-year-old Angela worries that the Baby Jesus feels cold in the creche at the church, so she devises a way to smuggle him home and warm him. In McCourt's hands, however, the story opens a child's view onto a vast world that takes scant notice of her, where "people passing by were not in the mood to be looking at a little girl carrying something white in the dark," and where she is considered too young to have anything of interest to say, even at home. Angela negotiates with unmistakably childlike logic: frustrated at her difficulty in getting the Baby Jesus over the garden wall (an improvised part of her scheme), she scolds him with empty threats: " `Baby Jesus, I have a good mind to leave you there in Mrs. Blake's backyard.' But she couldn't. If God found out, he'd never let her have a sweet or a bun for a whole week." Rarely, McCourt risks inviting a laugh at Angela's expense (Angela continues, "You're not to be flying around like an angel"), but otherwise he brings consummate skill to his layering of different types of authenticity (in Angela's thinking, in the reactions to the inevitable discovery of the Baby Jesus), and evokes a potent mix of emotions. Given a traditional storybook format and charged with illustrating a children's edition, Colon (My Mama Had a Dancing Heart) employs his signature, multi-step watercolor and lithograph pencil technique, patterning the colors and surfaces to suffuse the story with warmth and light. The effect stops just short of nostalgic, to hint at a timeless if imperfect past. Candles in the church, streetlamps, a barely seen fire in the hearth all bathe Angela in a steady glow that emphasizes the spiritual dimension of the story. No incidental players stroll into these scenes, and the focus remains on Angela; not even Angela's mother can be seen unobstructed. Long, ranging far from his illustrations for The Little Engine That Could and Toy Boat, interprets the story with an almost foreboding air, as if giving a form to Angela's trepidation and awareness of her own insignificance. The adult edition, produced in a small, square gift format, suggests the atmosphere of Angela's Ashes, beginning with the cover illustration of chimneys spewing smoke into an evening sky, and continuing with the stony palette of grays and blues rendered in grainy acrylics. Already dark pictures make dramatic use of shadow-sometimes to conceal, sometimes to announce a character's presence. Readers never see Angela's face, and most of the characters, too, are shown with their backs to viewers, sometimes from an even more distancing mid-air perspective. McCourt's humor seems harder to locate in this version; on the other hand, the tender ending comes as more of a surprise. All ages. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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