cover image Hildegard's Gift

Hildegard's Gift

Megan Hoyt, illus. by David Hill. Paraclete Press, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-61261-358-1

Author of children's books and screenplays, Hoyt offers young readers a glimpse into the life of Hildegard of Bingen in the newest in a series of picture books about saints. The text is enlivened by former portrait artist Hill's bright and whimsical illustrations depicting Hildegard's imaginative life. As a young child, Hildegard discovers her gifts%E2%80%94writing, painting and singing. She finds great joy in sharing her gifts with others, but suffers under the strain they bring. With tutelage from a nun, Jutta, and a monk, Volmar, she learns to read and write Latin and to produce plays. After a while, exhausted by the constant work, she becomes seriously ill. A visit from the monk Bernard of Clairvaux restores Hildegard's health. She then finds that her gift has grown even stronger and spends the rest of her life sharing her work with the world. Hoyt believes that every child has a gift, and her book serves as a prompt to talk with children about how to discover their own. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)