From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—This simple narrative introduces St. Francis to a younger audience than dePaola's Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi
(Holiday House, 1982). Francis, the "Little Poor One," is lonely and has no one to hear his song about God's love. An angel tells him to sing anyway and soon Francis's song draws Brother Sun and Sister Moon, and the angels and birds come to listen. dePaola's tropical-hued collages convey the magic of this religious interpretation in an appealing way. Particularly charming are the cherubic angels and beatific faces of the sun and moon. Preschoolers will be drawn to the spread depicting a rainbow of birds flocking to St. Francis. A joyful addition to public and religious collections.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI
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Venerable author-illustrator dePaola has written about St. Francis before, in Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi (1982). This book is for a younger audience, and its purpose isn’t to give information about the man but rather to give a sense of him, particularly his love of life and his affinity for God’s creatures. Although nowhere does the book allude to the “Canticle of the Sun,” Francis’ ode to the natural world, this seems to be the basis for the book; Francis sings about Brother Sun and Sister Moon and invites the birds to “come and bless the Lord, because the Lord loves you.” The collage art, which has both charm and power, uses marker-colored papers to make birds, trees, and a bevy of curly-haired angels. In one exhilarating two-page spread, angels and birds intermingle, flying through the sky, as the brown-frocked Francis seems to lead them in song. An author’s note would have helped put Francis in context, but most children will be happy simply to soak up the joy. Preschool-Grade 1. --Ilene Cooper