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Francis Woke Up Early
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Francis Woke Up Early

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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  15 reviews
While other children’s religious titles focus on Saint Francis of Assisi as an adult, few, if any, have concentrated on the early life of the patron saint of animals and the environment. Stunning illustrations punctuate this beautifully told story of Saint Francis as a boy as he communes with nature and treats even the fiercest of animals—a hungry wolf—with the same compas ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Gingerbread House
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Community Reviews

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Stuart
Francis Woke Up Early is written by Josephine Nobisso, the author of my favorite Catholic children's book ever - The Weight of a Mass. In this book, the author imagines what St. Francis of Assisi would have been like as a little boy? Probably inspired by the tale of Wolf of Gubbio, Francis Woke Up Early tells the tale of a young Francis encountering a she-wolf that had been prowling around and threatening the village. Using his gifts of love, generosity, and the special bond he has with animals, ...more
Leticia Velasquez


One of the most vivid childhood memories is sitting in my parish church, gazing up at a large fresco of the Child Jesus and St Joseph working in their carpentry shop. I wondered what the pair discussed amid the rasping of their tools and fragrant wood shavings. My childish faith imagination helped me forge a deep bond with the young Jesus and St Joseph which has never left me.

The same bond is recreated in “Francis Woke Up Early”. No saint outside of the Bible is as widely known as St Francis of
...more
Treasa
The young St. Francis wakes up before anyone else in his house and decides to prepare breakfast himself. While he's outside gathering eggs and milk, however, he encounters a hungry wolf.

What a lovely book. As the author says at the beginning, this book isn't exactly based in fact - although we know that St. Francis does tame a wolf as an adult, we don't know that he did so as a child. In fact, I don't think we know a whole lot about his childhood in general. Nevertheless, this is just a lovely,
...more
Barbara
The author's imagining of what the childhood of the boy who would later become Saint Francis of Assisi makes sense, whether it's true or not. When Francis awakens early after staying up late talking about the hungry she-wolf who is prowling the town's streets, he leaves the house in order to gather an egg for breakfast. Spying the wolf's shadow, he continues his task, and ends up sharing his breakfast with her. The wolf never touches a hair on the boy's head, and they make their way home togethe ...more
Nick
The artistry involved in this book is amazing, leading the artist on a journey of over twenty years. Oddly, though, I didn't find the telling of the story to be as special. It is a very simple variant on the kinds of stories which arose surrounding the man most of us know as St. Francis of Assissi. The author's notes imply that the events in the story stem from a holy aura which is wholly missing from the story. In fact, the tale hinges on a very practical response to the idea that the menacing ...more
Libby
An imagined story of Francis of Assisi as a boy, which follows his morning adventure of taking care of the family's animals while a hungry wolf lingers nearby. It was an enjoyable story, and the pictures were beautiful, but it just seemed to be missing something. Part of my problem was that I thought more would happen after Francis befriended the wolf--one bit of dialog seemed to indicate he would find her more to eat, but he didn't. That aside, my kids enjoyed reading this several times, especi ...more
Jennifer
This beautifully illuminated book would make a nice gift for a baptism or First Communion. It took nearly 20 years to craft the illustrations because the artist took incredible much care in the process (I do hope that she has a museum exhibition of the paintings because they must be gorgeous to see in person).
Melody
I loved the oil paintings that illustrate this slight book. The illustrations glow with an inner light, the painter has clearly studied animals and how they move. The boy Francis even looks saintly. The text, sadly, I found pedestrian at best. But do pick it up for the pictures.
Stef
Dec 31, 2012 Stef rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: nino
Little Francis is so cute! Perfect book for a little boy just beginning to learn to love the saints.
Edward Sullivan
An elegantly illustrated story from St. Francis of Assisi's childhood.
Mary Lee
A possible moment from Saint Francis' childhood. This is how peace begins.
Michelle Gray
The illustrations are extremely beautiful. So realistic looking.
John
An imagined event from Saint Francis of Assisi's childhood.
Stephanie
The illustrations get 5 stars! Beautiful!
Alyson
Pretty, peaceful story
Nancy Yob
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