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The Christmas Anna Angel

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Set in Hungary during World War II, this story features young Anna, who wants more than anything to have Christmas cakes for Christmas. Her parents warn her that the Army has taken all the white flour, and that there may not be Christmas cakes this Christmas. The story is filled with details depicting traditional Hungarian Christmas celebrations, such as a visit by St. Nic ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 20th 1944 by Viking Children's Books
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218th out of 246 books — 151 voters

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Community Reviews

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Ruth Sawyer based this story on her conversations with a Hungarian woman about Christmas in Hungary. This short novel is a good transitional book for children who need something longer than a beginning reader, but are not yet ready for long chapter books.
The story is interesting, detailing traditional Hungarian Christmas celebrations, with which I was unfamiliar. The family receives a visit by St. Nicholas; the two children chase the chickens with a broom to help them lay eggs; a priest comes a
I had high hopes for this Christmas story from Hungary when I began, but it was too long and wordy for me - thankfully the illustrations gave consistent boosts to keep going. The counterpoint of big Christmas dreams and the poverty of the era provides the point of tension that drives the story. Maybe it would read better while in Advent between St. Nicholas Day and Christmas Day.
Favorite Illustration: the first one where Anna and her father and brother are riding to town in the sleigh.
It is Christmas, and Anna and her brother Miklos, are looking forward to all the magic that come at that special time of year. But it is also war time, and has been for several years, and some of the big things might not be able to happen this year. But Anna doesn't lose faith, even when her mother tells her that there is no white flour and there will be no special Christmas cakes this yea
I will say that this was a very long book to read aloud, with not that many illustrations, but the ones it did have were pretty detailed and spectacular! Finding out that this author was the same author that did another Caldecott Honor winning book "Journey Cake, Ho!" makes more sense, as this was another odd duck book. The parts of the story that I didn't get were in relation to St. Lucy's Day, where Anna chases chickens around a yard and sings a song while doing it, to encourage to lay eggs th ...more
My 9 year old niece is very generous. She gave this book 3 stars even though she clearly thought it was REALLY long! But, I think she did kind of like the story and the pictures that were there.
Florence Turnour
I like the illustration of the clock-cake at the end. It was interesting how the events in the story reflect how the child Anna perceives what is happening in that time of hardship for her family.
This book was decent. The story began a little sad but ended on a high note. However, the book lacked many pictures and there were a few pages with only words. The book was also a long read, which could be suitable for older children.
Picture Book-Fantasy and Historical Fiction
Amanda Funnell
Genre: picture book, historical fiction
This book proved to be too long and monotonous for my taste. However, I can definitely think of situations in which a book like this one would be beneficial in introducing concepts to kids about foreign cultures.
I loved this story of a girl who believes. Anna wishes for Christmas cakes, but there is no white flour to be had, as the soldiers have taken it all. But Anna believes that at Christmas her Anna Angel will come and bring the cakes she hopes for.

I also loved the colorful illustrations with their splashes of red, blue, green, yellow and orange.
This is a Hungarian folktale about a girl named Anna who wants to make cakes at Christmas time, but there is a war and supplies are scare. However, she receives some help from an angel.

While the story is nice, it was much too long and a bit wordy. My favorite part is the illustrations which have beautiful colors.
Love this book. Compares nicely to "Pedro, the Angel of Olvera Street" in dealing with the season leading up to Christmas Day in two totally different cultures. I found Anna Angel to be a very charming story, and the illustrations are very vibrant and colorful.
1945 Caldecott Honor

Favorite illustration: page 42-43 with Anna singing at the request of the angel

Kid-appeal: This folk tale is very long, though might appeal to patient readers/listeners around the holidays.
A little girl meets an angel and helps bake Christmas cakes on Christmas Eve night. Illustrations were colorful and didn't have black outlines. A great story about the perseverance of belief.
1945 Caldecott Honor

Interesting folk art, but the story was rather too long for me.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
1945 Caldecott Honor Book. An interesting Christmas tale but a bit long.
Christmas story with magical happenings - just believe.
Caldecott honor.
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Ruth Sawyer, was an American storyteller and a writer of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She may be best known as the author of Roller Skates, which won the 1937 Newbery Medal.
More about Ruth Sawyer...
Roller Skates Journey Cake, Ho! The Way of the Storyteller The Year of Jubilo The Wee Christmas Cabin of Carn-na-ween

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