Monday, September 16, 2013

Angels - a book review

Quote of the day:  "A book is to me like a hat or coat - a very uncomfortable thing until the newness has been worn off."
                                                           ` Charles B. Fairbanks

Title:  Angels
Author:  Alexis York Lumbard
Illustrator:  Flavia Weedn

Ever wonder if you have a guardian angel watching over you?  Ever hear stories of angels being involved in people's lives and helping them in many different situations?  Are angels real?  Do they even exist?  Can you actually see them and talk to them?  Ohhhh, so many questions and now a book to highlight the supernatural appearance and activities of angels being sighted and carrying out their duties among us.

Angels are everywhere, "Some are big, and some are tiny.  They're all so bright and very shiny."  This  beautiful, inviting book gives you a glimpse into the supernatural and comforting world of angels.   The illustrations are soft, gentle, rich paintings that provide a journey for the reader to experience magical scenes where angels are inhabiting different places and seasons in our world.  The book explains how angels work diligently behind the scenes to help provide love, care and healing to us.

The illustrations bring the text to life and together, in rhyme,  Angels help you experience a world of wonder, comfort and peace.  Flavia Weedn is a world-famous illustrator who does beautiful work.  This book is a perfect bedtime story as your children will feel comforted knowing these gracious, magical beings are hovering over them ready to guide and protect them all through their day and nighttime.    "Angels, angels, always near, protecting you, my special dear."

The simple text of three to four words is geared towards pre-school readers.  The book is non-denominational allowing the parents or guardians to fill in the background they desire regarding this heavenly protection.  There is also a dedication page for the little angels in your life.  This would make a perfect baby gift.

You can catch a Book Trailer on You Tube.   (WorldWisdomInc.)

About the author:

“I was born in 1981 on a military base in North Carolina, the second daughter of my parents, Debra and Stephen York. My father served in the U.S. Marine Corps for most of my childhood. Like many military families, we moved around frequently. Of all the places we lived in those early years, my fondest memories are of Whidbey Island, Washington. I remember riding the bumpy ferry to and from Seattle and watching with great wonder the many birds taking flight. Little did I know that my very first children’s book, The Conference of the Birds, would involve these feathered friends!

“When I turned seven we moved to northern Virginia, a wonderful melting pot of people from around the world. By the time I was a student at The George Washington University, my interest in other cultures quickly developed into a love for world religions. It was during this time that I also met my husband. Shortly after graduation, I joined my husband in Egypt, where he was teaching at the American University in Cairo. When I wasn’t studying classical Arabic, I would explore the colorful streets of Old Cairo and visit some of the most magnificent mosques in the world. My fondest memory from Egypt however, was a five-day camel trek through the desert to Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Mount Sinai. Come to think of it, riding a camel is a lot like riding a ferry; it is bumpy, but wonderful.

“After Egypt, we moved to Amman, Jordan, where we had our first child. We lived in Jordan for only a year, but what a remarkable year it was! My husband had a unique job serving His Majesty King Abdallah II as an advisor for Interfaith Affairs. The Levant is a dazzling jewel, which fills many a visitor with wonder and delight. This special time in Jordan and those wonderful weekend visits to Damascus and Jerusalem planted the seeds for my next book, Everyone Prays, a concept book in celebration of faith as such. In every person, in every community, and in every single thing on earth there is something wonderful from which to learn, something wonderful to cherish.

“We now live a simple life in the Boston area with our three little girls. Were it not for motherhood, I do not think I would have become an author. For there was a book that I wanted to read to my children, but this book did not yet exist. So I said to myself, ‘Well, why don’t you write it!’
“I quickly learned that writing isn’t as easy as it sounds. But if we dig around deep enough we will find that there is an artist of some sort hidden inside us all.  As Ray Bradbury once observed, “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” So I studied the principles of good storytelling and learned to draw upon the past and present in order to write from the center. That is why I love storytelling; good literature has the capacity to engage the whole self. 

“Even when I am not writing there is always something swirling about my mind. I think about stories while playing with my children. I think about stories while washing the dishes. But most of all, I think about stories while reading great books. If I had to choose one author whom I admire the most, I would choose Leo Lionni. I especially love Frederick, the poet mouse with a philosophical nature. Children are little people capable of asking, and reflecting upon, very big ideas."

~Wa Salaam (peace be with you)


About the illustrator:

Flavia Weedn began expressing her inspirational philosophy through painting and writings in early 1962. Her talent as an artist, as well as her great ability to express her work in writing with a sense of care and wonder, quickly spiraled her work into the public eye. Her career branched off into three genres: the fine arts, commercial illustration and the literary field. Flavia originals and original graphics have sold the world over to fine art collectors and can be found in the Smithsonian Institute archives, the AT&T Collection and numerous private exhibits. Her work as a commercial illustrator has been reproduced on magazine covers, national advertising and non-profit promotions and hundreds of fine paper products and collectible gifts in the United States, Canada, throughout Europe, Australia and Japan. Her lines of greeting cards, translated into many different languages, are sent by over 18 million people each year, thus displaying the international appeal of her tender display of human emotion and her philosophy of hope. Weedn has published 10 collections of her writings and illustrations, which have garnered high critical acclaim. Her books are used in school systems and self-esteem programs throughout the world. Her public acclaim has brought editorial coverage in consumer publications such as NewsweekPeople and Glamour and in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribuneand the Los Angeles Times. She is also one of the chosen authors to include her work in the National Literacy Campaign introduced by Barbara Bush. Flavia Weedn's art deals with the simplicity and the beauty she sees in the ordinary things in life. It is her intention to emphasize the value of each individual and to help everyone be aware that he or she has a valuable contribution to make in this lifetime.

                                                    Book Review Rating:   8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!   Have a wonderful Monday.  Ever seen an angel?  Let me know.  I believe they exist and are out there waiting to be of service to us.  What do you think?

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