THE DAY THE ANIMALS CAME by Frances Ward Weller
Kirkus Star

THE DAY THE ANIMALS CAME

A Story of Saint Francis Day
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Best approached with Kleenex in hand, this tale of a young immigrant reaching a new understanding of her place in the world will find its place in plenty of hearts. Amid the “dusty pigeons” and sky-blocking buildings of New York, Ria dreams of her tropical former home. One October day a neighbor drags her off to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, where crowds of people are gathering with their pets for the annual Blessing of the Animals. After enticing an escaped duck out of a nearby pond, Ria is invited to carry it in the ensuing procession—just behind the camel, the elephant, and a like array of wildlife. Swept up in the music, the singing, the moment, Ria comes to realize that if she’s related to these creatures, then perhaps all the world is her home, too. Day captures the joy and the solemnity of the occasion with formally posed, chiaroscuro scenes of the towering Cathedral, and a culminating double gatefold view of red-robed celebrants leading animals both common and exotic down its nave. The setting, the ceremony, and Ria’s epiphany combine to create an experience that will leave few readers unmoved. (afterword) (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-23630-9
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2003




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