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An Angel Just Like Me is a lovely Christmas book to read to children and is written by Mary Hoffman.
I had this book as a child and enjoyed the story and pictures. I now use the same book from my childhood to read to the children where I work.
The book is a hardback and has 32 thick paper pages. This has helped it last this long. It is still in perfect condition. Although the book was published in 1997 much of the story is still very true.
The story begins with Tyler and his family putting up the Christmas tree. Whilst Tyler is going through the box of decorations he finds the angel for the top of the tree has broken in two.
This leads him to ask his mother, "Why are they always pink? Aren't there any black angels?" Tylers parents say how they have never seen a coloured angel and Tyler heads to the shops to find "An Angel Just Like Me."
Tyler visits different shops each day and although he sees many different angels, none of them have coloured skin like Tyler and his family. They all have white skin. Tyler asks Santa for his help but this is not a real Santa, it's a store Santa and Tyler knows him (he is an art student who's friends with his parents.)
When Tyler visits the church on Christmas Eve he is also curious as to why Mary and Joseph have white skin when they were from Israel, a hot country.
Somehow, I won't say how, he gets his questions answered and his problem solved and then everyone wants "An Angel Just Like Me."
This is a great book that shows how people with coloured skins are not always shown in products. This is not right in this day in age as the UK is such a diverse country. Despite this most angels are predominantely white at Christmas. This also happens with most toys or items but is slowly changing as more books and baby dolls are becoming available with coloured skins as well as white.
This is important to children with coloured skins as seeing white skin all the time emphasises they are different and it can upset them when they can't have things that look like them like white skinned children can.
One particular child where I work has slightly coloured skin and I have noticed whenever he has a choice of books, he will always pick the book with a coloured skin child.
This is a fantastic book with beautiful watercolor pictures by Cornelius Can Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. It shows an important issue that needs to be solved in a fun way. No child should have to find out like Tyler that they can't have an angel like them.
The children have always found this book enjoyable and many are interested in why this happens, whatever there skin colour.