TALKING TO ANGELS by Esther Watson


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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 A book of beautiful mixed-media illustrations, with the look of children's scribbles: painted and repainted, scratched and drawn-over. The characters in the pictures are arms attached to heads, with six and seven fingers per hand. Watson's sense of color, shape, and composition is perfect; the first impulse is to hang the pictures on the wall. The text is about the author's sister, one hand-lettered sentence per page that describes the younger girl's favorite things, from the way kittens feel on her cheek to her talk with the angels. Plain, well-aimed one-liners tell readers exactly what they need to know about this sublime pageant, brought down to earth by the penultimate sentence: ``My sister Christa is autistic.'' Suddenly, the book is reduced to a specific tribute rather than a universal celebration of a unique perspective. To be sure, the tribute is a fine one, but some will want to skip that sentence and allow Watson's first book to remain aloft. A debut of uncommon, nearly perfect grace. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-15-201077-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1996