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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Jutta Bauer
Age Range: 6-8
‘Nothing could ever hurt me’ Grandpa explains to his grandson when he goes to
visit him in hospital. He tells his grandson about his life and how every morning
as a boy, he would run past the big statue of an angel on his way to school,
and no matter what happened, nothing could touch him – he was nearly run over
by a bus, almost fell down a hole, was chased by scary geese and did many daring
things – but he was never afraid. Even through the dangerous times when
the Nazis were in power and during the war that followed, through hunger and
unemployment in its aftermath and all the strange things that life threw at him,
Grandpa’s angel was always nearby looking out for him.
The angel is never specifically mentioned in the text but the illustrations show that it is never far from Grandpa’s side. Always depicted in pale blue, invisible to everyone else – but whether Grandpa can see it we are not quite sure! This is a beautiful story, accompanied by gentle watercolour grey-green and ochre illustrations that make this a poignant and at times humorous picture book.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)