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Saint Francis of Assisi: A Life of Joy Hardcover – March 2, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4–Kennedy's passion for nature and lifelong connection to this saint are evident in both the narrative and introduction, in which he reveals his personal convictions. The book paints Francis in glowing terms (with some fictionalized dialogue), weaving together the major threads of his life: his early kindness to beggars in his family's fabric shop; his call to and ultimate rejection of a military career; his estrangement from his wealthy father; and his ministry to lepers, the impoverished, and animals. The famous prayer, "Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace…," is printed across the bottom of the pages. Nolan's oil paintings render realistic figures in carefully staged scenes. The architecture and landscape of Assisi are accurately captured, although the New Age angel depicted at the conclusion is anachronistic. While much of the information overlaps with that found in Guido Visconti's Clare and Francis (Eerdmans, 2004), the telling and aesthetic are quite different; the books will appeal to vastly different audiences. The book has no source notes or bibliography. Purchase where religious picture-book biographies are in high demand.–Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 2-4. Sharing the middle name of Francis with his father, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. felt especially close to St. Francis while growing up, and the gentle saint continues to play an important part in his personal and family life. Here Kennedy offers a straightforward telling of Francis' life that, nonetheless, seems imbued with the splendor of the saint's mission. As Kennedy notes in his introduction, Francis' life was so full that not everything about it could be included. But his well-told biography, which introduces Francis as a frivolous yet charming King of Youth and follows him to his welcoming "Sister Death," also describes incidents such as Francis' reconciliation with the wolf of Grubbio and his relationship with St. Clare, who started an order of nuns similar to the Franciscan brothers' order. The book is illustrated with full-page, realistic paintings, which, while technically adept, have little sense of wonder or mystery. It's the words (including Francis' Canticle of the Sun on the back cover) that paint the pictures in this book. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The illustrations were wonderful.
Putting a verse of the Serenity Prayer on the story pages was Genius. Have decided to included his Canticle to the Sun in my morning prayers: it’s so beautiful.