Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In Dyer's The Fish in Room 11, a boy living in a seaside hotel hides the identity of a young mermaid. In this engaging if less resonant tale, twins Amanda and James take an angel, well, under their wing and keep her otherworldly secret hidden (with the help of an oversize duffle coat). The day after Hilary arrives at the siblings' window and announces that she thinks her wing is broken, logical James and imaginative Amanda conduct an amusing conversation about whether or not the winged girl could be in fact an angel. James argues that angels don't exist ("If they did, you'd see them on the news") and Amanda speculates that Hilary is of the guardian variety ("They're the ones who get sent to Earth to help people"). The impulsive, energetic angel proves hard to restrain-broken wing or not: she tags along on a family picnic, causes a ruckus on a class field trip and, in the story's most comical scenario, steals the show when she usurps the role of the student cast as the angel Gabriel in the school Nativity play, sending sheep and shepherds shrieking offstage. Bailey (who also illustrated Fish) once again illustrates the animated goings-on in cheery pen-and-inks that effectively depict Hilary straddling both land and skies. Appealing characters and Hilary's parting gift will give kids reason to smile (the angel's rebus farewell note hints at her return). Ages 7-10. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 2-4-In Heather Dyer's light and humorous story (Chicken House, 2005), twins James and Amanda are awakened one night by the sound of a thunk on their roof that turns out to be a girl named Hillary clad only in a white dress and sporting huge wings. Entertaining adventures ensue as the twins strive to keep the curious angel out of trouble. Alison Reid's renderings of the clueless but caring adult characters are more successful than the voices of the twins and Hillary. An amusing high-interest chapter book for beginning readers.-Vicki Kwiatkowski, Makape Elementary School, Kaihua, HI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. As in The Fish in Room 11 (2004), about a boy and a mermaid, Dyer tells a warm story of friendship between children and a magical friend--in this case, a young angel named Hilary. Twins James and Amanda are startled by a loud sound, like a wet cabbage hitting a wall. The noise announces the arrival of cold, wet-winged Hilary, who drops through a window and ends up leading the twins on some farcical adventures. Hilary is eager to share in the twins' daily activities, so different from her life at home, a place she alludes to as having lots of old people and songs but never discloses. Some children may have logistical questions (don't the parents realize that Hilary is in the house?), but the flying scenes are thrilling, and kids will chortle over the gentle comedy and the likable angel who longs to live like a regular kid. Bailey's ink illustrations hit just the right notes of humor and old-fashioned whimsy. A good chapter book for newly confident readers. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2005 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Twins James and Amanda find everyday life turned upside down when Hilary, an angel, crashes into their skylight. For Hilary, the most ordinary aspects of life--from attending school to having a picnic--are thrilling. Skeptical James resents Hilary's presence until he needs his own guardian angel. With its gentle line drawings, this cozy and humorous fantasy will appeal to younger readers. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.