Angel on the Roof


Lewis Brown investigates the source of the golden feather that appears on his window sill. It has fallen from the ‘Angel on the Roof’. The angel welcomes Lewis’ friendship and confidences. Together, with the angel’s wings hidden beneath Lewis’s fathers’ old coat, the pair investigate the streets and sights of Notting Hill and watch the skies over the city.

Somehow, the angel’s presence eases the tensions and separateness of the various residents of  32 Paradise Street. Lewis discovers why Dan Sharples has ignored him. Miss Ridezski sings songs from her homeland. Can the angel magic away Lewis’s bad leg? Will the angel stay with the boy forever?

Shirley Hughes presents a book of friendship, acceptance and possibilities. It is a love letter to London, and a reminder of every individual’s frailty and fears. Her pen and ink sketches are glorious- rich with wonder and love. The ‘Angel on the Roof‘ is a gift book, recommended to readers of all ages.


Angel on the Roof

Shirley Hughes

(Walker Books)– hardback

The ‘Angel on the Roof‘ appears on a ‘bright moonlit night’. Paradise Street’s name appears to offer him a place to rest his wings and sleep. When he awakens, and shakes out his wings, one loosened, golden feather floats toward the windowsill of the basement flat where Lewis Brown lives. Although Lewis has one leg thinner than the other, he is quick to investigate the warmth, colour and texture of the feather. Lewis realises that whatever creature this feather came from is not a pigeon or canary. His eyes travel upwards to the sky where the full glory of the angel is revealed. Lewis approaches the rooftop, where the angel welcomes him with a ‘radiant smile‘, thus beginning their friendship.
Lewis is able to share his troubles and frustrations with the angel, who despite a lack of speech, appears to understand. Furthermore, Lewis offers the angel, quiet contemplative company on the roof, and thereafter, to the city. Although Lewis and the angel are mocked by the gang that hangs about number 32, the pair are oblivious. Also, it appears that the angel is bringing a mood of change to Paradise Street.
Rather like The Boy Who Loved Everyone ‘Angel on the Roof’ is a stirring, enriching picture book that improves the outlook of readers of any age. Shirley Hughes has created a timely story of hope and wonder, with illustrations of possibility and words of warmth.


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