Friday, January 25, 2013

The Day the Animals Came by Frances Ward Weller & Loren Long

Saint Francis loved animals and so did lonely little recently-emigrated to New York, Puerto Rican girl Ria . She is desperate to participate in the Feast of St Francis to which her neighbour Mrs Blum has taken her. She is worried she will miss the experience because  unlike all the other people  lined up ready to enter the cathedral looking foward to having their animals blessed, she has no pet accompanying her. As Leunig would say"you must know the ways of a duck"  and surely it is a mischievous duck, Groucho, who reminds Ria of her homeland and is the reason she is asked to join the Procession of Animals. "The church beyond yawned like a cavern. Lined with breathing walls of pets and people, the aisle they walked stretched to a far-off alter. Ria took a big breath and stepped through the doors." This beautiful, string-bound hardback book with its fascinating paintings by Loren  Long  is a welcome addition to my bookshelf of quality children's picture books.The four page spread depicting the procession makes you feel as if you are there.
The book is based on the procession which takes place annually at New York's City Cathedral.

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