SAINT PATRICK by Ann Tompert


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The lineaments of Saint Patrick's life comprise the barest of bones in this work from Tompert (How Rabbit Lost His Tail, 1997, etc.), which is less biography than leap in the dark. The story opens with Patrick's birth in southwest Britain during the fourth century. He was a son of the manse, a lousy student, and lax as could be regarding his religion. When Irish pirates sold him into slavery, Patrick saw the light (or, rather, heard a voice that urged him to escape and return home). Miracles start raining, prayers are routinely answered, as Patrick makes his way back to Britain. Once there he has a dream that counsels he return to Ireland to spread the faith. As an author's note makes clear, Tompert attempts to stick to the few known facts of Patrick's life, but the insertion of his words into the narrative turns the story, including the more sensational aspects, into an eyewitness account instead of something mythical or hallowed. As the story pales, Garland's curious, mixed-media illustrations, with a variety of digitalized patterns, become that much more compelling.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 1563979926
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills