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by Demi & illustrated by Demi

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5953-8
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Joan of Arc’s story told in the ravishing line and color of Demi’s art.

Demi says in a note that she studied illuminated manuscripts and stained glass, and read “all” the children’s books on St. Joan. The pictures are intricately framed in a style to reflect medieval French illumination, and the pictures within use pattern, repetition, sinuous line and jewel-like color that recall cathedral windows and illuminated manuscripts. The text unequivocally treats the 15th-century Joan as a saint, casting the craven King Charles VII as the villain he was. Joan’s life is recounted with a strong emphasis on prayer and the will of God, from her beginnings as a devout peasant girl who heeded angelic and saintly voices through her victories and defeats to her imprisonment, trial and martyrdom at the stake. There is dialogue, including Joan's initial conversation with the Archangel Michael, but these quotes are not sourced or authenticated in any way. Joan always appears in the images within a nimbus of gold rays; gold is used lavishly to brilliant effect. The text is cast squarely as a battle between the will of God and the lack of will of the king and the French; the pictures allow readers to see Joan’s choices and to comprehend and relate to them.

A young female hero par excellence. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)