Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Albert and the Angels

Albert and the Angels

Leslie Norris
Illustrator:   Mordicai Gerstein 
For ages 5 to 8
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000   ISBN: 978-0374301927

Albert wishes he could find a way to buy his mother a gold medallion for Christmas, a medallion to replace the one she lost many years ago. Try as he might though he cannot seem to find a way to make enough money to buy her this coveted gift. At last it is Christmas Eve and Albert is discussing the lamentable state of affairs with his dog Lucille. Albert and Lucille can understand one another though no one else understands what Lucille is saying. Something Lucille says gives Albert an idea and there and then he sets off for the corner of Main Street.

Surrounded by busy shoppers Albert begins to play his flute, playing all the carols he knows. A kind policeman gives Albert a dollar but warns him that playing on the street is not allowed. Albert then goes into a number of stores hoping that he has enough money to buy a medallion. Poor Albert, in the end he buys a medallion but it is not what he wanted and he does not feel happy with his purchase. To make matters worse, when he gets home he discovers that his precious medallion has fallen out of his pocket.

Now, Albert is not the kind of boy to give up, and in the middle of the night he gets up and goes out into the snow to look for the lost medallion. By some miracle Albert literally runs into an angel. The angel takes Albert to a very special place, a place where lost things are brought so that they can be found.

Young readers will find this delightful story both heartwarming and amusing. The conversations between Albert and his dog are deliciously funny at times and Albert?s selfless determination to get his mother the perfect Christmas gift serves as a wonderful reminder that giving can be just as, if not better than, receiving.