"In this bittersweet tale of hard times in a small Midwestern town, two sisters and a lonesome Bulgarian immigrant offer one another consolation. . . . Angel's eccentricities attract the girls: his home, his artistic carpentry, his passion for opera. And he cements their friendship with his genuine kindness . . . Chmielarz's prose is consistently ripe . . . With successive readings, this book's shine will deepen into a gratifying patina."
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Though other kids are put off by Angel's strange-looking eye (it's ``like a milky star'') and call him ``that dumb Bulgarian,'' the narrator and her little sister enjoy watching the old man make furniture, hearing operas on his radio, and eating the chocolate he gives them when they've helped their mama. Like the sisters, whose father died ``in the war'' (WW II), Angel has suffered a loss--because he used to drink too much, his wife has left. Chmielarz draws the affection between the lonely man and his young neighbors with a gentle lyricism that recalls similar relationships in Eve Bunting's picture books. An exchange of Christmas gifts epitomizing the hard times in this Middle- American community makes a warm and satisfying conclusion: Mama helps the girls choose a generous box full of the canned goods they have helped her put by for Angel, and he gives them a beautiful carved table they had hoped to buy from him someday. Kastner's gentle, earth-toned paintings, rendered in broad, light-filled strokes, reflect the narrative's pervasive sense of security. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
Ages 4-8. A small girl's bond with an adult outsider is at the center of this quiet Christmas story. Angel speaks with a foreign accent, and some kids call him "that dumb Bulgarian," but the girl tells how she loves to visit him with her little sister and watch him work at his wood carvings. Times are hard: the children's father has died in the war; Angel lives alone in the cellar of his house. On Christmas Eve the children and their mother pack a box of their home-canned fruit and vegetables; bearing gifts, they visit Angel, and he opens up his house. The double-page-spread oil paintings of the small midwestern town are full of character and longing. There's no overt message, but children will get the play on Angel's name and the meaning of the light from his cellar that shines across the snow. Hazel Rochman
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Ticknor & Fields Books for Young Readers, New York, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Kastner, Jill (illustrator). First Edition. Inter-generational story of a girl and her Bulgarian neighbor. Bookseller Inventory # 542
Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110395659930
Book Description Houghton Mifflin. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0395659930 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1071817