Angels Watching Over Me is an adaptation of the African-American spiritual by the same name. There are many variations of this song, and this contemporary rendition is just fine. But what makes this book truly exceptional are the illustrations by wonderful Elisa Kleven, whose work may be familiar to you because of her award-winning books, such as Sun Bread and Abuela (the latter written by Arthur Dorros).
Kleven’s exuberant and colorful mixed media illustrations – dominated by watercolors accentuated with collage – combine visions of both the inner and outer worlds of children. Her multicultural characters soar through the pages and convey joy and love and caring and the magical imagination of children of all ages.
The children in the book, watched over by smiling angels, engage in all manner of play, secure in the knowledge that angels are watching over them:
Sky says race, I chase the wind.
Wind blows on ‘til meadow’s end.
Wind says soar, I take up flight.
Bird beside me gathers height.
All night, all day,
Angels watching over me.”
Evaluation: I love this book, and I especially love that for once, angels are depicted as something other than white blonde cherubs. All the colors of the earth are represented by Kleven, and all the world is shown rejoicing with them.
Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2007
For more multicultural picture books, check out all the resources at The Birthday Party Pledge, a new website dedicated to promoting gifts of multicultural books to the children in our lives.
For more reviews of books for children and teens, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection, posted on Saturdays. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.