Two-time Newbery Award winner and National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Katherine Paterson reimagines Francis of Assisi's 1224 hymn of praise in celebration of all living things in an edition illuminated with the illustrations of a prodigiously gifted cut-paper artist new to picture books.
Katherine Paterson, daughter of missionaries, and wife of a minister, has always had a particular and ecumenical sensitivity to themes of the spiritual and to matters of religion. She has made these subjects accessible to a broad readership that spans generations. Her voice provides a deeply appropriate medium for us to hear Francis of Assisi's words anew. Pamela Dalton's remarkable gift is to infuse a decorative folk art with the emotional depth and richness of the finest children's book illustrations-combining the naivete of the old Amish technique of Scherenschnitte ('scissor cutting') with a highly trained, profoundly experienced painterly style. Her style perfectly matches the tone of Saint Francis' hymn: a balance of almost stark simplicity with a richly colored celebration of the multiplicity of life. Saint Francis' austere but loving message was radical and galvanizing in its time-founding a religious order that profoundly influenced the course of Western History. That message resonates ever more clearly today in an age of simultaneous excess and economic retrenchment.