This is the latest of David Almond’s novels for younger readers. Once again, there is an extraordinary being with wings who transforms everyone’s lives. This time, it’s a tiny angel who appears in the pocket of bus driver Bert; is taken home to wife Betty; then to school with Nancy; and attracts the attention of would-be gangsters, Kev and The Boss and the even nastier Basher Malone. It’s a quirky story which seems to bridge the present, when school inspections generate fear and the footballing hero is Lionel Messi, and a nostalgic past, when there were people called Bert and Betty, fishmongers, and teachers who were sticklers for grammar. There’s some gentle satire about the pretensions of school management and a version of Matilda’s Miss Honey in Ms Monteverdi, an art teacher. She understands that what stressed children and adults need (even school managers and would-be villains) is a chance to get at some paint brushes and a big sheet of paper. I am not convinced that humour is David Almond’s forte. The high fart joke quotient is perhaps confirmation of that. But there’s enough character, drama and laughs to keep you reading. And, even in this light entertainment, there is his uncanny ability to get at the loneliness and fear that might turn us into something worse than we can be and, on the other hand, the love and friendship, the care for each other, that might make a better world. And goodness knows we need that kind of reminder. Alex T. Smith’s black and white illustrations complement the story perfectly.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2017-07-05 17:01:002021-06-17 16:02:39The Tale of Angelino Brown
Illustrator: Alex T Smith