cover image Saints Among the Animals

Saints Among the Animals

Cynthia Zarin, , illus. by Leonid Gore. . Atheneum/Jackson, $17.95 (88pp) ISBN 978-0-689-85031-8

In this elegantly designed story collection, inspired by the 1905 book of the same name by Margaret Ward Cole, Zarin (Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis ) revisits the theme of saints who have been befriended and aided in their mission by faithful animals. Some saints and their tales may be familiar (i.e., "Saint Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio" and "Saint Jerome and the Lion"). Other, lesser-known stories are highly original, including "Saint Werburge and the Geese" and "A Story About Saint Hilda" which both feature the mystical feats of strong women. But all the entries reflect a sense of wonderment and mystery, something that will likely enchant readers. Throughout, Gore's black-and-white charcoal drawings are a crisp and spare complement to the text. Brief biographies of the volume's 10 spotlighted saints and an author's note about the book's origins round out this attractive volume. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)