Thursday, May 15, 2008

Angels Among Us

The Bible contains many stories about angels and how they interacted with humans on earth, with over 300 references to these celestial beings. Angels Among Us, written by Leena Lane and illustrated by Elena Baboni, is a book with a selection of short stories about angels in the Bible. The book starts with the book of Genesis, where God sends an angel to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve have been barred from it. The last story is from the book of Acts and tells about how an angel came to Peter’s prison cell to free him after King Herod had put him behind bars. Also included are stories about Jacob’s ladder, Jesus’ birth, and Daniel’s ordeal in the lion’s den and how angels played a part in each story. There are twelve stories in all. Each story references a passage in the Bible and that reference is given under the story’s title.

The stories, and their accompanying illustrations, fill each double-paged spread throughout the book. The illustrations, done with acrylics are expressive, depicting the action and emotions of the scenes.

What I Like: I like having a book of short stories, each one dealing with a different story in the Bible about angels. I also like the fact that the specific Bible reference is given for each story.

What I Dislike: Although the illustrations convey action and emotion, I don’t really like them, as they are not very “life-life.” The faces of the people and angels are too angular to appeal to me.

Overall Rating: I give the book an overall rating of excellent, though, as the theme and content are excellent (despite my not personally liking the illustration style).

Age Appeal: The author recommends a reading audience of 9-12 years. This age group should be able to easily read the stories by themselves. But, I think younger children would enjoy listening to the stories, if they were read aloud, even though they might not appreciate the artwork.

Publisher Info: Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers: 2007; ISBN: 0802853218: Hardcover: $17.00

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