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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
The Angel of Santo Tomas: The Story of Fe del Mundo, written and illustrated by Tammy Yee, is an inspiring picture book that tells the story of accomplished Filipino pediatrician Fe del Mundo. The story unravels in a funeral procession as the family buries Fe del Mundo’s sister. Upon learning that the deceased dreamed of being a doctor, Fe vowed to take her place. She graduated at the top of her class in a Philippine medical school and received a grant for further studies at Harvard Medical School in 1936. When the Second World War broke out in the Pacific in 1941, she chose to return to help her country, where she invented the first incubator. When the military forces entered the capital city of Manila, she volunteered for the International Red Cross. She opened the Children’s Home to take care of children displaced by the war and went on to distinguish herself further as she fulfilled her promise to her sister.
Tammy Yee’s The Angel of Santo Tomas is a beautiful and encouraging story. The illustrations are rich in detail and authentic, with the characters wearing traditional Filipino dress as the book opens. This story of courage proves that anything is possible with love and determination. A recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award and the Elizabeth Blackwell Awards for distinguished women, Fe del Mundo should be a role model for children and adults to make our world a better place to live in. The use of text and visuals in telling her story is highly effective, making it more exciting and vivid. The timeline at the end of the book is beneficial and informative as it provides the reader with an overview of the extraordinary life of a determined, courageous, and brilliant Filipino woman.