cover image Glorious Angels: A Celebration of Children

Glorious Angels: A Celebration of Children

Walter Dean Myers. HarperCollins Publishers, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-024822-2

A sequel to Brown Angels, which paired Myers's verse with turn-of-the-century photographs of African American children, Glorious Angels is comprised of just three poems (""The Mother,"" ""The Father,"" and ""The Village"") and reproduces antique photos of children of many nationalities and races. ""When we celebrate [children] we celebrate ourselves,"" Myers explains. ""We celebrate life."" While the author's purpose is laudable, his language is high-flown and the marriage of text to photograph not always appropriate. Young readers may be put off by his rhetorical flourishes, e.g., a child is ""this tender vessel/ of blessed innocence/ This lifter/ of my joyful heart"" and ""this vessel that welcomes life/ This fragile keeper of breath."" Better just to look at the invariably arresting photographs--Japanese, Chinese, Native American children in traditional dress; a boy proudly holding up a fish as tall as himself. Frozen in another time, these images communicate irreducible, fresh emotions. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)