Five Little Angels by Kathleen T. Pelley Illustrated by Dubravka Kolanovic

by | Jul 11, 2021 | Children's Books


Children’s Literature


Ages 3-6

Author’s Worldview


Year Published



Prayer, Kindness, Charity, Angels, Blessings, Heaven, bedtime stories, hand-drawn illustrations


Reviewed by

A.R.K. Watson

This book’s simple and short sentences make it an excellent book to read at bedtime. Much like the children’s song “Five Little Monkeys,” this book can be a fun way to practice counting, and all the silly tumbles the angels make are opportunities to laugh, engage your child in reacting, “Oh no!”, “Uh oh!” or “Silly Angel!” using whatever level of language development they are currently in.

Five little angels dance in the sky whenever the humans below perform an act of charity or kindness, but with each dance, one gets over excited and trips or takes a tumble. The sight of three children bringing gifts to a sick friend makes one spin off from joy. When some other children build their mother a flower crown, another angel becomes so giddy, he stubs his toe dancing, and falls. Another is so overjoyed when some girls make up after fighting that she slips off the cloud. When only one angel is left, he goes to find his friends recovered from their tumbles and now dancing outside the window of a little child saying his prayers. On the last page the angels write into the sky, “Angels dance with joy for you oh beautiful child of God!”

The water-color illustrations in this book are cute and dreamlike. This is one of the books that my one-year-old likes to take down just to look at the pictures. The illustrator, Kolanovic has been nominated for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award, and it is easy to see why. I also appreciate that the angels and the children in the book are all different races, hair types and skin tones, making this book inclusive for children of all a wide range of backgrounds.

With the exception of helping some turtles cross a busy road, the book is full of practical examples of kindness that children can practice in their own life and imagine making the angels dance with joy.


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