Marie-Claire, Book 4: Angels in Winter


86 pages
Contains Maps
ISBN 0-14-301673-3
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Sharif Tarabay and Janet Wilson
Reviewed by Sylvia Pantaleo

Sylvia Pantaleo is an associate professor of education, specializing in
children’s literature, at the University of Victoria. She is the
co-author of Learning with Literature in the Canadian Elementary


It’s 1885 in Montreal and Christmas is approaching. Marie-Claire is
excited about the impending visit of her Tante Thérиse, Oncle Henri,
and their new baby, Angélique. The young teen continues to think about
Laura, the wealthy English-speaking girl she met after she was struck by
the horse and carriage driven by Laura’s parents. Marie-Claire wants
to give Laura a Christmas present, but doesn’t know what kind of gift
to give such a rich girl who is accustomed to luxuries that Marie-Claire
can only dream of. Marie-Claire decides on an angel and carves it from a
bar of soap. Laura graciously accepts it. Marie-Claire tells Laura about
the tragic events that have befallen her family during the year, and
Laura gives her a beautiful snow globe to comfort her. Although
Marie-Claire has coveted the globe since she first saw it at Laura’s
house, she experiences mixed feelings about accepting the gift.

Although readers learn about the Christmas celebrations of both French
and English people in Montreal at this time in history, the story, which
lacks both conflict and tension, is not engaging. In addition,
Marie-Claire’s dilemma over the snow globe is underdeveloped and
anticlimactic. It is unfortunate that this final book in the
Marie-Claire series is disappointing. Not recommended.


Stinson, Kathy., “Marie-Claire, Book 4: Angels in Winter,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024,