Author / Illustrator: Ruth Brown
The Story: The angels are setting off to visit a newborn baby in a manger, but one little angel refuses to go. The others try to persuade her, saying Gabriel, who knows everything, will be cross if she isn’t there. Eventually they go without her, and our little angel is left alone in the dark. The satisfying ending is achieved with a clever twist that makes the first-time reader flick back through the illustrations looking for missed clues.
The writing and illustrations are both beautiful, and work together perfectly to weave a magical surprise.
Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it.
The spread where ‘The little angel didn’t move. She couldn’t move…’ has a picture of the little angel radiating defiant shyness. It is instantly relatable for any parent of a small shy child, and when the book was published in 1998 it was the image of my own younger daughter. I don’t think she’s ever realized why I especially love this book!
Janet Bingham lives with her husband near Cambridge, in a house that used to be full of small children and pets. They’ve all moved on now, but there’s still plenty of wildlife in the garden, offering lots of writing inspiration. Janet has always been fascinated by animals and nature. She studied Zoology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and once spent a summer in windswept Orkney counting legions of guillemots on distant cliffs. Animals somehow make their way into all Janet’s stories.
Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. It’s another perfect marriage of words and pictures, a glorious ‘spell-book’ conjuring nature words and species that are in danger of disappearing from our lives. Every home and school should have a copy.
2017 Story Snug Advent on Pinterest