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Angelo Paperback – April 10, 2006
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From the creator of The New Way Things Work, Castle, and Black and White, comes a poignant tale of a very curious friendship. Angelo is an old Italian craftsman who restores facades of Roman buildings. Sweeping away feathers and twigs left "by generations of thoughtless pigeons" one day, Angelo comes face to beak with his nemesis. This pigeon isn't looking so good, though, and in spite of himself, Angelo takes her home and brings her back to health, grumpily commenting, "Mamma mia! I restore walls, not pigeons." It's not long before this lonely old man grows attached to the bird, though, and makes a touching, lasting gesture to her in the final hours before his death.
David Macaulay's unusual story is funny and touching, if jarring at times, as when the narrative makes inexplicable leaps with no transition. He uses his familiar illustrative style to greatest effect in depicting the clutter of Roman rooftops and close-ups of crumbling walls and sculpture's toes. Also lovely are the images of twigs and feathers that frame the book, scattered even across the dedication and copyright pages. (Ages 6 to 8) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Despite his "professional dislike" for birds, an elderly plasterer named Angelo reluctantly carries home an injured pigeon he comes across while restoring the exterior of a church. "I restore walls, not pigeons," he grumbles, but an unlikely friendship springs up between the two as he nurses Sylvia (his new pet) back to health. Later, she returns the favor when she sees that her benefactor moves a bit more slowly, she sticks around to "coo encouragement" as he presses on with his work, fanning him with her wings on hot days and entertaining him at lunchtime. Seasoned artist Macaulay (Building Big; Rome Antics) knows how to get the most humor out of his illustrations, both in the finer details (Angelo and Sylvia sporting matching red scarves in winter) and the broader strokes (as Angelo tells Sylvia of the church's restoration as his "crowning achievement," he imagines the building's faeade glimmering in glory, while she imagines pigeons perching on every available surface). He thus balances the melancholy elements of the tale with moments of lightness. Angelo's swan song to Sylvia is especially poignant. Macaulay's artwork conveys respect for Angelo's talent and commitment, and the artist wedges a good deal of architecture and sculpture into his watercolors. Though the setting goes unnamed, the rust-colored tile roofs, domed churches and other details make it clear that readers have been whisked to Italy. All ages.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Angelo worries once he's not alive anymore, who will take care of his pigeon. Where will the pigeon live?
Angelo finds an answer for this dilemma in a creative way you can't imagine. This book might be best for children who can accept a main character's death. Angelo dies in the book, so think about whether your child can handle it. If they can, it's a moving story.
It's the story of the unlikely friendship between a master plasterer (Angelo) and a pigeon he dubs Sylvia. He finds her wounded on the ledge of a building he is restoring & takes her in despite his negative opinions of birds. (The pigeon hospital bed he rigs up for her is wonderful). She flies off after convalescing...only to return when he needs companionship to see him to the end of his last great job. In thanks, he creates a tribute to her...a tribute only he could create & one only a pigeon could appreciate.
The story is heartwarming, but the pictures are silly, cinematic, and inspired. This is a treat to read (for young and old) and it is my pick (so far) for Caldecott 2002...
Though the story stays the same, there is NO comparison between the paperback and hardcover, if you appreciate what David Macaulay did with the illustration.
This goes to the return.