Title: Saint Francis of Assisi
Published: October 4, 2012 by Wisdom Tales
Category: Picture book – Christianity, Biography
Rating: 4 out of 5
Saint Francis of Assisi is one of the most beloved and inspirational figures in the history of Christianity. The stunning illustrations of award-winning author, Demi, bring to life the story of this son of a rich merchant, who abandoned all his worldly goods in order to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Inspired by the remarkable example of his holiness, Saint Francis is venerated by millions of Christians around the world, no matter their denomination.
I didn’t know much about St. Francis before reading this children’s book. The view I had of him was very simplistic; I imagined him in the brown monk’s robe being nice to animals. Saint Francis of Assisi filled out my picture of him. It follows his life from birth, through wars and being captured, his mission work and the founding of the Fanciscan Order. He was a remarkable man.
The story is told simply, with gorgeous illustrations, perfect for a read-aloud. It does a good job of showing how St. Francis’ faith and commitment to poverty and charity developed. I personally had no idea he was born in a wealthy family or that he had fought in a war. It didn’t fit with the image I had in my head, but makes sense. People live and grow, see things that effect how they think and feel. Of course, visions from God can be pretty life-changing too, I would image.
Overall I thought it was a good telling of his life, inspiring and interesting. At 56 pages, it’s a good length for kids, long enough to share his life, short enough not to lose their attention. If I had to make a (long) list of individuals throughout history that people should at least some familiarity with, I would include St. Francis and this is a wonderful way to introduce children to him. The pictures have a medieval feel to me, they fit the story well and are simply beautiful.
I will say that Saint Francis of Assisi does take his calling, visions and miracles as fact, which made sense to me. It is about him, his experiences, his teachings. However, I can see how that might make some people a little uncomfortable, so I just wanted to make you aware.