No saint outside of the Bible is as widely known as St Francis of Assisi, yet he can be little more than a garden statue in children’s minds. Francis Woke Up Early gives children a chance to enter into a day in the life of the child Francis and see that all saints began life like them, seeking outdoor adventures, and loving their family, yet, his future spiritual greatness is foreshadowed in this enchanting book.
What is best known about Francis is his bond with animals, particularly his sermon to the birds and his befriending the fierce wolf of Gubbio. Using these events as inspiration, author Josephine Nobisso paints a charming yet thoughtful portrait of the young saint. Imagine a sunny morning, which awakened Francis at dawn, and coaxed him to venture outdoors past a sleeping household in search of a breakfast of goat’s milk, all frothy and warm.
Dramatic storytelling paired with brilliant illustrations fires imaginations both young and old, and will lead to many a discussion of the life of St Francis. Each painting is a work of art worthy of framing; these captivating paintings of Assisi were completed over a period of twenty years by artist Maureen Hyde who provided the idea for the story. Francis Woke Up Early will become a family favorite, and would be a delightful Christmas gift for preschool through third grade children.
Leticia Velasquez is the founder of Catholic Media Review.