The Song of Francis [NOOK Book]


Francis is so full of God's love that he wants to sing His praises. His glorious singing inspires birds of every color, and even the sun and moon, to join him in joyful celebration.

Tomie dePaola's simple text and vibrant illustrations bring the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi to life for even the youngest children. And he reminds us how sweet it is to rejoice and give thanks for life and love.

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Francis is so full of God's love that he wants to sing His praises. His glorious singing inspires birds of every color, and even the sun and moon, to join him in joyful celebration.

Tomie dePaola's simple text and vibrant illustrations bring the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi to life for even the youngest children. And he reminds us how sweet it is to rejoice and give thanks for life and love.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Introducing Francis of Assisi to the very young, dePaola retells the story of the saint's sermon to the birds, omitting any references to preaching and without identifying it as an episode from the saint's life. Instead, he depicts Francis as a solitary man "so filled with the love of God that he wanted to sing, to tell everyone how much God loved them." The small blond angel who accompanies him everywhere tells him to sing even though he is alone, as God will hear him, and Francis begins, first inviting Brother Sun and Sister Moon, and then singing to the birds: "Come and bless the Lord, because the Lord loves you." One by one, the birds come (dePaola names them by their colors), and then angels follow. Despite the small color lesson, there's not much of a story line; adults will have to rely on their ability to read aloud with genuine warmth in order to make a success of this text. The novel choice of media-collage using cut-up Avery labels colored with paintmarkers-yields a flower-power aesthetic, with Matisse-like stars and foliage thrown in, too. Ages 3-5. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Saint Francis of Assisi was known for his love of God and his singing of praise for all creation. DePaola imagines a time when Saint Francis was all alone, except for a small angel who followed him everywhere. The joy in his heart was so great that Francis sang to Brother Sun and Sister Moon. His song swelled into the blessing of the birds of the air. Birds of all colors flocked to listen. Then they joined him in making a glorious sound. Angels came and added their voices to the song of love. When the song was over, Saint Francis was once again alone with his angel. He promised to sing again the next day. Bright, vibrant pictures fill the pages with colorful birds, flowers, and curly-headed angels. This is a beautiful book for one-on-one sharing between an adult and a child. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

This simple narrative introduces St. Francis to a younger audience than dePaola's Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi (Holiday House, 1982). Francis, the "Little Poor One," is lonely and has no one to hear his song about God's love. An angel tells him to sing anyway and soon Francis's song draws Brother Sun and Sister Moon, and the angels and birds come to listen. dePaola's tropical-hued collages convey the magic of this religious interpretation in an appealing way. Particularly charming are the cherubic angels and beatific faces of the sun and moon. Preschoolers will be drawn to the spread depicting a rainbow of birds flocking to St. Francis. A joyful addition to public and religious collections.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
A beautiful celebration of simplicity and joy for the very youngest children. Francis is full of the love of God and wants to sing out, but he is alone. Brother Son and Sister Moon join him, as do all the birds of the air in every color: red, orange, yellow, green, violet, brown, black, white. The birds sing with him, and the angels come to listen: "Love, love, love." Tomorrow, he tells the small angel who is always with him, "I shall sing again." Using painted collage on watercolor paper, dePaola achieves a vivid and muscular color, and Matisse-inspired shapes form birds, angels, stars and growing things; Francis is a barefoot, tonsured monk. The center spread is wordless, full of angels, stars, birds, sun and moon in a pale gold sky, the whole surpassingly sweet. With this effort, the artist refines the saint's Canticle of the Sun/Canticle of the Creatures to an irreducible essence of joy in all creation. Glorious. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101655702
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/5/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,299,578
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola is the artist/author of more than 200 books for young readers. He lives in New London, New Hampshire.


Born in 1934 into a large extended Irish/Italian family, Tomie dePaola received his art education at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and the California College of Arts & Crafts. Although he always wanted to create children's books, he spent several years applying his talents to the fields of education, theater, and graphic design. In the mid-1960s, he received his first commission to illustrate a children's science book. A year later, he published his first original picture book, The Wonderful Dragon of Timlin. Today, he is one of the most prolific -- and beloved -- author/illustrators in children's literature.

In addition to illustrating stories by other writers, DePaola has created artwork for collections of poetry, nursery rhymes, holiday traditions, and folk and religious tales. But, he is most famous for books of his own creation, especially Strega Nona ("Grandma Witch"), the beloved story of an old woman who uses her magical powers to help the people of her small Italian village. Written in 1975, this Caldecott Honor winner is still delighting children today.

DePaola admits that there are strong autobiographical elements in many of his books (Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, The Art Lesson, Stagestruck), but nowhere is this more evident than in 26 Fairmount Avenue, a series of charming chapter books based on his Connecticut childhood. Taking its name from the address of his family home, the series captures the experiences and emotions of a young boy growing up in the late 1930s and early '40s in the shadow of World War II. The first book in the series received a 1999 Newbery Honor Award.

DePaola and his work have been recognized with many honors, including the Smithsonian Medal, the Kerlan Award for "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal, and several awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. In 1999, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts bestowed on dePaola the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award for the body of his work.

Good To Know

  • Tomie dePaola's name is pronounced Tommy de POW-la.

  • Between college and graduate school, dePaola spent a short time in a Benedictine monastery before determining that religious life was not for him.

  • Using a combination of watercolor, tempera, and acrylic, dePaola's artistic style is best described as folk-traditional.

  • DePaola's favorite painters and strongest artistic influences are Matisse, Giotto, and Ben Shahn.
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    Customer Reviews

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    Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted April 6, 2009

      The Song of Francis

      I just love all of Tomie dePaola books - and this one does not dissappoint.
      Colorful illustrations with always a lesson. A joy to read to children of all ages

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted May 12, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      The Song of Francis by award-winning author and illustrator Tomi

      The Song of Francis by award-winning author and illustrator Tomie dePaola, introduces preschoolers to the joyful spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is alone except for a small angel who follows him everywhere and calls him “Little Poor One.” Yet Frances is so filled with the love of God that he begins to sing. “Come and bless the Lord, because the Lord loves you.” The sun and moon and birds of all colors join him in the glorious song. The sun eventually leaves the sky, but God’s love remains in the silence. And Francis promises to sing again tomorrow.

      The illustrations in this heart-warming book are as exuberant as the text. DePaola creates a colorful collage on every page by painting watercolor backgrounds on 100% rag bristol paper and adding Avery labels painted with Prismacolor markers. The angels in the story who come to listen to Francis sing all resemble a very young dePaola and might appeal to a wider audience if they were as diverse as the birds and plants and stars. Still, this is a book that all children and parents will love to read together and read again tomorrow.

      DePaola carefully crafts his words and art into a story that speaks directly to the hearts of children. A child who is feeling lonely will know that God’s love is always with him. Like Francis, he can surround himself with love by loving everything around him. A child who is feeling happy will naturally celebrate along with Francis. Parents will rejoice in the peaceful, nurturing atmosphere The Song of Francis generates. This is a wonderful read-aloud book for bedtime or anytime. The language is simple enough for young readers to follow and quickly be able to read for themselves. This book is intended for children ages 3-5 years (Putnam Juvenile/Penguin Group website).

      Laurie A. Gray
      Reprinted from the Christian Library Journal (Vol. XIV, No. 1, February 2010); used with permission.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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