A picture book for age 4 and up, The Angels on My Tree is the story of the author's first Christmas without her father. It is a story of healing and triumphant new beginnings. Inspired by a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, her mother changed the focus of the season from getting to giving. By thinking of ways to make the miracle of Christmas visible to all, they started a tradition that has passed down to the next generation.
In a melancholy but hopeful holiday story, a girl's Christmas is shadowed by the recent death of her father. Familiar traditions only deepen the awareness of his absence: "We stood side by side looking at our tree and cried. After a while, my mother said, ‘Let's go surround ourselves with beauty; it always makes us feel better.' " A visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City inspires the two of them to spend the season helping others. For each act of kindness—such as cooking for neighbors or arranging for musicians to play at a nursing home—they place another angel on their Christmas tree. The spare line drawings, permeated with a sense of loneliness, become less so as mother and daughter discover cheer through their generosity; gradually, the images acquire subtle warmth and splashes of pale color. Kaldor wisely keeps the story away from overt sentimentality, instead letting the quiet prose and airy artwork carry the message about letting go and moving forward. Ages 4–up. (BookLife)
Emily Raffery, President, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
"The Angels on My Tree is a truly touching story, and so beautifully rendered."
Lauren Arbolino, Ph.D., Nationwide Children’s Hospital
“... the theme is universal. It will resonate with families facing loss of a loved one, divorce, or even just being apart at the holiday season.”