cover image Stone Angel

Stone Angel

Jane Yolen, illus. by Katie May Green. Philomel, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-16741-6

An unnamed Jewish girl living in Paris fervently believes in angels—she need only look at the Gothic buildings around her to know they exist. Those angels seem “farther and farther away” after the Nazis force her family to flee, but she never loses hope that a protective power watches over her. Writing in a style resembling blank verse, Yolen conveys a hushed sense of urgency and momentum: “Aron and I learned to be quiet, to become shadows, how to turn invisible, sleeping all day long, waking only at night.” In her U.S. debut, British artist Green’s velvety textures and rounded shapes exude coziness and familiarity in Paris, taking on a somber beauty when the family enters a literal and figurative wilderness, hiding with partisans in a lush green forest, before escaping to Spain over snowy mountains. If the ending resolves a bit neatly—back in Paris, the girl’s father promptly resumes his old job at an observatory—the preceding pages convincingly portray a family tightly bound to one another, no matter how dire the circumstances. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Mar.)