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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

Saint Francis Sings to Brother Sun: A Celebration of His Kinship with Nature
By Karen Pandell
Illustrator Bijou Le Tord
Publisher Candlewick Press

St. Francis lived over 800 years ago. The son of a prosperous merchant, born in Assisi, Italy, Francis gave up a life of ease to live each day as its own, not storing even food for the next day. He chose to live close to nature and celebrate the goodness of God he saw in nature. Saint Francis Sings to Brother Sun is a picture book that combines the song St. Francis wrote at the end of his life, "The Canticle of Brother Sun," with medieval stories told about St. Francis and his relationship with nature and God's creatures. The stories are often fantastical. Birds, animals, and even fish stay with St. Francis while he prays and wait for the saint's blessing. They also demonstrate the affinity St. Francis had for all things because the rocks reminded him of "Him who is called the rock" and sweet smelling flowers reminded him of the "Eternal Sweetness." He spent his life preaching to the world of nature as well as the world of men the joy of praising and loving the Creator.

Bijou Le Tord's soft, gentle, pastel illustrations accented with gold highlights give an otherworldly sense to both the tales about St. Francis and St. Francis's own words in "The Canticle of Brother Sun." Is our world today really like this? Would St. Francis see it so today himself? I think so, because the world He saw then of a creation in which, "the stones would immediately cry out," if we did not praise God, is the same world we live in today. St. Francis surely saw the world as it was meant to be before the fall of man.

Hard cover, 64 pages, full-color illustrations.


Saint Francis Sings to Brother Sun: A Celebration of His Kinship with Nature

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