cover image Angels Watching Over Me

Angels Watching Over Me

Julia Durango, , illus. by Elisa Kleven. . S&S, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-86252-6

D urango (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.)