cover image The Song of Francis and the Animals

The Song of Francis and the Animals

Pat Mora, , illus. by David Frampton. . Eerdmans, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8028-5253-3

Mora (This Big Sky ) praises in poetry Saint Francis' calming way of communing with creatures great and small in this celebratory picture book, made all the more joyous by Frampton's (The Whole Night Through ) handsome colored woodcuts. Younger readers may be puzzled by the seemingly disjointed sequence of scenes here: Francis shoos away animals, then calls them close; the time-treasured story of the wolf in Gubbio makes a brief appearance (see review below) in the middle of things, as does Francis' re-enactment of the Nativity. However, Frampton's images, featuring the distinctive black outlines of his woodcut technique, and the playful, friendly expressions of both Francis and his animal pals, help to bridge any gaps and create a more cohesive tone. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)