cover image Brother Francis and the Friendly Beasts

Brother Francis and the Friendly Beasts

Margaret Hodges. Scribner Book Company, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-684-19173-7

Francis has been born into a wealthy family in Assisi. Increasingly troubled by the intense poverty around him, the lad sells some family items and gives the money to a poor church. Francis's father is disgraced by his son's actions and orders him to leave home with nothing but a coarse robe. Stripped of his worldly possessions, Brother Francis is free to walk the roads of Italy helping the needy, preaching God's word and befriending the animals. Hodges writes with reverence, drawing the kind man's portrait by skillfully weaving together the many legends surrounding his life and times. Lewin captures in fine detail the old Italian villages and the countryside's verdant, natural beauty. His watercolors of colorfully frocked peasants and sun-washed stonework recall Sargent's work in this medium. Ages 6-8. (Sept.)