Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Angela and the Baby Jesus

Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt on Amazon

"Angela" is Angela of McCourt's award-winning Angela's Ashes. There are two versions illustrated by different artists of this true adventure Frank McCourt's mother had as a little girl in Limerick, Ireland—one for adults, another for kids; I have the young(er) readers' edition.

angela and the baby jesus
The Sheehans would have been a traditionally religious working class family in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Catholic Ireland; Angela has learned their practices of piety, church, and caring for others—her distress about baby Jesus shivering in the nativity scene at St Joseph's parish forms the main idea of the book. Angela figures out a way to snatch the Jesus figurine from the manger, then carries Jesus to her home to warm and care for him; after she's found out, her siblings and mother go with her to return the infant to the church.

Frank McCourt's bland writing and the story line both disappointed me; nonetheless, Raúl Colón's superlative illustrations with their tertiary color palette and exquisite chiaroscuro play of light and shadow make this book a winner!

I'm delighted to have another new-to-me book about God's incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth this Christmas season; subsequent readings of Angela and the Baby Jesus just may increase my appreciation for the story itself.

my amazon review: disappointing story, matchless illustrations

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