PreS-Gr 2-Mora's narrative about the Saint and his tender relationships with
wild creatures is more poetry than story. The lyrical text describes how
Francis speaks with birds, tames a wolf that threatens the people of Gubbio,
and re-creates the manger scene with the help of villagers, lambs, an ox, and
a donkey. Throughout, the animals sing and call back to him. Some Italian
phrases are included, with a translation at the front of the book. The variety
of species that populate Frampton's vibrant, detailed two-page woodcuts will
delight youngsters. The animals are full of character and personality and
emphasize Francis's belief in their gentleness. The fierce wolf turns into a
fawning supplicant and a falcon shelters the sleeping man with spread wings.
While this book may be more relevant to parochial than secular schools, its
message of treating all living things with kindness is universal. Francis's
compassion for a worm shows children an example of having respect for even the
lowliest of creatures.-Jane Barrer, formerly at Washington Square Village
Creative Steps, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.