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CLARE AND FRANCIS by Guido Visconte Kirkus Star


by Guido Visconte & illustrated by Bimba Landmann

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8028-5269-6
Publisher: Eerdmans

The 13th-century Italian saints Francis and Clare of Assisi continue to inspire: Francis with his love for all creatures and Clare, who saw visions on her windows, as a possible patron saint of the Internet. Visconte weaves their stories lightly together, as they were in life. Francis was a rich man’s son who dreamed of glory and found it by giving away his wealth and caring for the very birds of the air; Clare was a noblewoman who fed the poor and cured the sick. Francis led Clare to her vocation and Clare nursed him through his final illness. Visconte tells a complicated story gracefully, allowing the longing for the divine into the tale. Landmann’s illustrations take inspiration freely from Giotto, from the Siennese school, and from Byzantium. Her use of flat space, lapis and gold, and a powerful modern sense of pattern create the spiritual milieu in which this story of belief and devotion can be understood. While not for very young children, middle-graders will be able to grasp sanctity so clearly delineated. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)