The Christmas Angel, by popular children’s book author and illustrator Hans Wilhelm, is the tale of a little angel who wants to celebrate Jesus’ birth on earth. The little angel thinks hard about what he could give Jesus, then decides to compose a song for him. But the little angel’s “guardian angel” tells him his wings are too small for the long journey to earth; he will have to stay in heaven.
“That isn’t fair!” says the little angel...yet he does as he’s told.
But in his curiosity to see what’s happening on earth, the little angel steps too close to the edge of a cloud and tumbles down to the ground. Cold in the morning air, he spots a tent in the distance, and decides to go in. Inside, three men sleep; ever curious, the little angel comes inside and can’t keep from peeking in their bags, finding glorious jewels. Just as he begins to wonder who these men are, one of them stirs. Frightened, the little angels hops inside a bag - and before he knows it, he’s riding on the back of a camel.
The angel is terrified, but before long, the camel stops and one of the men opens the bag. The little angel flies out, prompting one man to say: “It must be another sign of the miracle that has happened.” They take the little angel with them to a stable, and now suddenly the little angel knows where he is. Before him, laying in a manger, is a little baby with “the halos of a host of angels.” Everyone kneels before Jesus – the Son of God. Timidly, the angel approaches Jesus and sings his song. Jesus smiles.
What I Like: This is a cute story, and it will appeal to small children, who often feel left out of exciting activities. The illustrations are done in attractive pastel watercolors.
What I Dislike: Some Christians will have a hard time with the idea of a baby angel who has a guardian angel. Also, for parents who are trying to teach the true story of Christmas, this book may blur the line between truth and fiction. Personally, I’m afraid my child would think the little angel is a true part of the Christmas story.
Overall Rating: Ho-hum.
Age Appeal: 4 – 8.
Publishing Info: Scholastic, 2007; ISBN: 0545008530; soft back, $3.99.