Book Reviews

The Tale of Angelino Brown

Bert and Betty Brown have got themselves a little angel. Bert found him in his top pocket when he was driving his bus.

Bert and Betty’s friends think he’s lovely. So do Nancy and Jack and Alice from Class 5K. What a wonder!

But Acting Head Teacher Mrs Mole is not so sure. Nor is Professor Smellie. Or the mysterious bloke in black who claims to be a School Inspector.

Then there’s Basher Malone – big, lumbering Basher Malone. He REALLY doesn’t like Angelino. And it looks like he’s out to get him…

Combine my favourite author with an illustrator who writes the most charming books about a little dog called Claude and you have a match made in this reader’s book heaven.

David Almond has always stood out as a unique author with a very distinctive voice. You begin one of his books and immediately settle in for tale told by a beautiful storyteller. He is a very natural writer, using dialect and rhythm to take you to the centre of his characters and their thoughts and feelings. You feel the wonder his characters feel – this sense of wonder at the world becomes the core for all his stories and it is a very life-affirming and special experience for the reader.


“I began to discover a way to expose the extraordinariness in ordinary things” – David Almond


Now it might seem like the most extraordinary thing in the world, to discover an angel in your pocket – and of course it is – but at the heart of this story is the idea that this event is just another amazing moment in an ordinary, wonderful life. Everyone accepts Angelino – whether they like him or not is another matter – but they do not panic or fuss. Here is an angel, look what joy he can bring to an already joyful life full of art lessons, custard and bus rides!

Alex T. Smith’s illustrations are to be found throughout the book – they compliment the story perfectly and add an extra dimension of fun when you see the villains brought to life or an angel perched on a tin of beans! I love that there are books being published for older children that appreciate the special relationship between storytelling and illustration – pictures should not just be for little ones! A story can be enriched by that magic pairing of author and illustrator – it really does make a book extra special!

The true magic of this story is not that an angel is discovered, it is what Angelino discovers from the friends he makes and the family who accept him as their own. Like all Almond’s books, love is at the heart of his storytelling and with ‘The Tale of Angelino Brown’ he shows that happiness exists in the simple pleasures of footballs, clay cats and midget gems.


Perfect for 9yrs +

Buy Your Copy Here >>

Happy Reading!


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