I have realized that one of the big reasons I am a reader is that I was given age appropriate books that sparked my imagination. Different kids need different type of books because they have different interests and reading levels and different styles of reading.
James at thoughts, prayers and songs reviews a new children’s biography of St Francis in graphic novel form, St Francis and Brother Duck by Jay Stoeckl. If you have kids in the 8-12 range that are into graphic novels this might be one worth picking up.
Francis of Assisi is the world’s most popular saint. His life, his joy and his connection to creation has inspired millions of people. His commitment to the poor and the least of these offers a radical challenge to our materialist age. There are many biographies, collections of stories and children’s books which pay homage to the great saint, but none quite like this.
Cartoonist Jay Stoeckl was an aspiring cartoonist. After traveling to Assisi he became a secular Franciscan. Saint Francis and Brother Duck is his graphic retelling of the life of Francis. In these pages we meet the young Francis who dreams of being a glorious knight. His father sends him off to battle arrayed in fine clothes and armor. But before he sees much battle he rescues a duck from some cruel boys. He hears a voice telling him that he misinterpreted his ‘dream.’ In Stoeckl’s retelling, the duck he saved returns home with Francis and remains his companion for the nearly twenty years. The duck narrates this story and in the end this is as much his story as it is Francis’s.