In this prayer poem, known as the "Canticle of the Creatures," Saint Francis of Assisi reaches out to the natural world and identifies the sun, the moon, the wind, the water, and the earth as are our brothers and sisters in the divine family. Modeling a way of gratitude and reverence for life, St. Francis praises God as the gifted Artist who has given all creation variety and beauty and bounty. And within this sweep of praise, he also includes those who endure sickness or square off with death.

This picture book for children four through eight is an exquisite blend of writing and design that vividly conveys the sweep of praise of the patron of ecology. It is easy to see why writer Katherine Paterson has twice won the Newberry Award and the National Book Award. Equally impressive are the illustrations of paper-cut artist Pamela Dalton.