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Book Review: Angels in the Air Arrayed

Angels in the Air Arrayed
All Artwork © TAN Books

Time for Christmas books!  I’ve been waiting all year to share A Child’s Christmas ABC Book: Angels in the Air Arrayed, having received it last Christmas, and really admiring it. It was written by Paul Thigpen, and beautifully illustrated by John Folley.

Baby H. is just starting to learn his letters, so now is the perfect time to read it to him, as we prepare to welcome the King of Kings and Lord of Lords into our hearts anew. Mr. Thigpen’s prose is gentle and sweet, and befits the book perfectly. Written in rhyming verse, this book cleverly navigates the letters of the alphabet while going through the Nativity story and proceeding on to the world (and “U”niverse!) celebrating the birth of Christ. And how helpful to the author, that the word Zion begins with “Z!” . 



I will admit, the real reason I had asked for this book for Christmas was that I had seen glimpses of the artwork on Instagram last year. I’ve been a fan of Alphonse Mucha since discovering him in college, and I can tell that John Folley is too! Mucha was a popular illustrator around the turn of the last century, known for his flowing lines, swirling hair, and very detailed borders. It has been a goal of mine to be able to paint a picture completely in the style of Mucha, but I have not yet managed it. Folley has come closer than I with his fine line quality and dazzling details! His use of color is wonderful too; the palette is more muted but there are some great combinations. Here are a couple of my favorite images- I love St. Joseph’s halo and the swirling incense from a Wise Man’s gift. The next image illustrates all of the Wise Men adoring. And those lambs! Could they be any cuter? You will enjoy the rest of the illustrations in this book if this style touches you, as it does me.


If you are looking for an alphabet book for your family that tells the true story of Christmas in a most becoming way, Angels in the Air Arrayed is for you! Now I need to pick up the sequel to it that just came out- A Child’s Christmas Counting Book: Guest of the Animals. I’m excited!

Author: Paul Thigpen
Illustrator: John Folley
Publisher: TAN Books
Age Range: 2-8 years
Meet Adalee
Mom, Freelance Illustrator, and Catholic Author Adalee Hude is passionate about children's literature and gets giddy over good art. She spends most of the day with her very bouncy baby boy, evenings with her beloved Mr. H, and sneaks into her Brightly Hude Studio early in the morning, with a strong cuppa tea.
Some of the books covered here were sent to her gratis by publishers especially for the purpose of review, but are her own opinions, given with appreciation of the craft.

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