Gr. 1-4. Eschewing sensationalism, Tompert adds Joan of Arc to her previous biographies of saints Nicholas and Patrick. The "voices" Joan heard urging her to free France from English tyranny naturally play a part in the story, but the telling dwells on the historical rather than the mystical. Tompert does a remarkable job of compressing the turbulent events of twelfth-century France into digestible bites that kids can understand, and her solid writing is well matched by Garland's artwork, which has the look and feel of digital enhancement. The high-gloss effects and interesting perspectives make some of the visuals look as if they are about to jump off the page; the depiction of the burning of Joan is especially vivid and dramatic. Yet, the technical process used for the artwork also results in obviously layered, sometimes fuzzy, images. That's a quibble, however, in a book that gives a fresh treatment to a well-known story. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Ann Tompert is the author of many books for children, including Saint Patrick, a 1998 Booklist Top 10 Religious Books for Youth. She lives in Port Huron, Michigan.
Michael Garland is the illustrator of the critically acclaimed Leah's Pony, by Elizabeth Friedrich. He lives in Patterson, New York.