The Artist and the Angel: Twenty Brief Stories for Little Adults

« Back to list
The Artist and the Angel: Twenty Brief Stories for Little Adults
Author: Kinji Ishikura
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591151297
160 pages
16.0 x 20.0 cm / 6.4 x 8.0 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 12+
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2016
Buy now:


A collection of lyrical short stories by picture-book author Kinji Ishikura.

In the title story, a starving artist has been trying to sell his paintings on a street corner in Paris. It is winter and night is falling. As the elderly painter begins to pack up his canvases, disappointed that once again he has failed to sell any, he hears from behind him the voice of a young girl. “Your paintings feel so warm!” she says. After gazing raptly at them for a time, she says, “Thank you. They make me feel happy inside.” Taking a single red rose from her basket, she slips the stem into the artist’s chest pocket. With the rose on his chest, he returns to his attic room.

The next morning—Christmas morning—the artist lies dead with a blissful expression on his face. On his easel next to the sofa where he lies is a freshly painted canvas of a beautiful angel clutching a bouquet of red roses.

Among the other stories, “Johanna” tells of a style-conscious girl whose pet dog suddenly begins speaking and shows that he has a mind of his own. “Sparrow” portrays an aged war widow who sees a bird outside her window and wonders if it is her dead husband. Whether whimsical or sad, each of the 20 gems in the collection summons up deep feelings with an artist’s eye for detail.

The volume is beautifully produced in black and gold to evoke the dreamlike atmosphere of the book. The title leaf of each tale includes a charcoal drawing of a scene from the story, and on the back of the same page is an abstract work inspired by it.