cover image CITY ANGEL


Eileen Spinelli, , illus. by Kyrsten Brooker. . Dial, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2821-9

According to this uplifting picture book, a guardian angel adds harmony to the hum of life in the city. City Angel watches over neighborhoods and neighbors—from the mayor to a homeless man—by offering quiet acts of kindness in the form of smiles, hugs or an unseen helping hand. "City Angel soars above/ the city she has come to love,/ sprinkling dreams with twinkling light/ long into the city night." Spinelli's (Three Pebbles and a Song ) rhyming text underscores the vibe of community amongst disparate city dwellers who share a common home ground. (Readers likely won't mind the somewhat confusing time frame of the tale; there appears to be a shift of seasons midstream.) Brooker's (Precious and the Boo Hag , reviewed Jan. 3) mixed-media collages form a vibrant scrapbook of urban activity. Her young angel-of-color memorably glides skyward in a creamy satin patchwork gown with opalescent wings. Every metropolis should be so lucky as to have such a heavenly protector. Ages 4-up. (Jan.)