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Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  591 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
In Brother Sun, Sister Moon, award-winning author Katherine Paterson reimagines a hymn of praise originally written by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1224. Illuminated with the exquisite illustrations of cut-paper artist Pamela Dalton, this picture book offers a stunningly beautiful tribute to nature.
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Chronicle Books (first published April 29th 2011)
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While I can indeed much appreciate Katherine Paterson's Brother Sun, Sister Moon, her lyrical adaptation of Saint Francis of Assisi's famous 1224 A.D. Canticle of the Creatures, I still do rather wish she had kept closer to the original, I do rather wish she had actually translated Saint Francis' original prayerful poem instead of having adapted, instead of having "reimagined" it (and although there are more than likely many persons of today who might well want and desire to consider God as eith ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it liked it
In my opinion, Bill Barrett's translation of the Canticle (given in an appendix) is better than Paterson's adaptation. And the illustrations, while lovely, don't seem extra-special as cut-paper; they just look like water-color to me. I do find it interesting that all the characters, the villagers, farmers, etc, are depicted as children... I suppose that's something symbolic about Humility and about Our Father.

I do want to mention that I'm an atheist, and that may possibly have colored my apprec
This is a beautiful picture book that will probably appeal most to religious or spiritual families. Katherine Patterson has "reimagined" St. Francis of Assisi's "Laudes Creturarum" (Praise Song of the Creatures, also known as the Canticle of the Sun) and they are paired with Pamela Dalton's gorgeous water-color painted papercuttings.

I was a bit unsure how I would like a "reimagined" version of a piece by a beloved figure such as Francis of Assisi, but I feel that Patterson adapted it with great
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations coupled with the words of St. Francis of Assisi. What could be lovelier?
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Acclaimed author, Katherine Paterson has reworked a hymn of praise first said by Saint Francis of Assisi. It praises God for our Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and Sister Stars. Brother Wind and Brother Air are praised for being both harsh and mild. Sister Water is thanked for being life-giving and Brother Fire is thanked for both warmth and playfulness. The song of praise moves through Death as well, thanking God for the days we are given and the love that we are ushered into at death. It is a unive ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Love the pictures, not crazy about the "reimagined" text, especially the silly "O Lord, the Father and Mother of all creation" bit. It also dumbs things down from the original intent (Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them." becomes "And, though we often fear her, we praise you for our Sister Death, who will us ...more
Linda Lipko
Stunningly beautiful illustrations!

What an incredible book, written by two-time Newbery Medal winner for The Bridge over Terabithia and Jacob I Have Loved. Based on St. Francis of Assissi's Canticle of the Creatures, this is a book of purpose, of nature, and of the intertwining of the beauty when nature inspires us and calls us to travel to a different level of consciousness.

The beautiful illustrations are created by the Germanic art of paper cutting into patterns. The Scherenschnitte images are
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Marcie by: NYTimes
I'm not sure about this for public schools, but for public libraries and religious schools it is beautiful. The illustrations and text and whole idea of the book would make for great discussion. Caldecott?
Dec 03, 2011 rated it liked it
The cut paper art is amazing -- my students absolutely couldn't believe the illustrations were created from one piece of paper. I loved one of our conversations comparing this book to Never Forgotten. I love my students.
Nov 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-christian
Paterson has done a wonderful job of "reimagining" St. Francis' prayer, in lyrical language. The wonderful illustrations are cut paper painted with watercolors. A lovely, spiritual book.
Jo Oehrlein
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't realize until the illustrator's note at the end that the illustrations are all papercuts!

A lovely re-telling of the Canticle of the Creatures with folk-art style illustrations. Lots of Jan Brett-style details to pause over.
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I begin this review by stating that I am not now nor have I ever been Roman Catholic. Still, I have quite a soft spot for Saint Francis of Assisi, whom I'm used to seeing in statue forms in gardens. I've read a few of his prayers before, and find them to be the sort of thing I can get behind - a call for respect for all living creatures and peaceful coexistence with our natural world.

It was with complete delight that I opened a package that arrived yesterday from the kind folks at Chronicle Boo
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
"We praise you for the ones among us who forgive those who have wronged them in the same spirit as you constantly forgive us. And for those who must bear in this life sickness and trial, we ask for the comfort of your everlasting arms."

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Whose version of this praise hymn is better, St. Francis of Assisi's or the new one written for Brother Sun, Sister Moon by the great Katherine Paterson? That's hard to say. I'm glad that the text of the original version is reproduced a
Margo Tanenbaum
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I'm not Catholic, but I've always had an affinity for the gentle St. Francis, who gave up his life of wealth and privilege in medieval Italy to preach to the poor, taking care of the sick and the needy. He's particularly known for his love of all animals, and his affinity for nature in all its splendor. Renowned children's author Katherine Paterson reimagines his text, The Canticle of the Sun, in this exquisite new picture book illustrated by Pamela Dalton. The text, written in free verse, sings ...more
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Brother Sun, Sister Moon is a rewriting by Newbery winner Katherine Paterson of St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures. She manages to make it sound like something from the 13th century without using any difficult or outdated words, and it's easy enough to understand. My favorite part: "We praise you for our Brother Wind and every kind of weather, stormy or mild. For when he roars he reminds us of your might, and when he comes as a cooling breeze, he tells us of your gentleness. Prais ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Pamela Dalton is the reimagining of a hymn of praise written by Saint Francis of Assisi.

Using simpler language and imagery, Paterson reimagines this praise hymn to nature beautifully. Each stanza has a double page spread. A translation by Bill Barrett of The Canticles of the Creatures is included, as are notes by Katherine Paterson and Pamela Dalton about working on this project.

The highlight are the intricate, delicate paper cut ill
Cynthia ☮ ❤ ❀
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a children's book that is as gorgeous to look at as it is to read then Brother Sun, Sister Moon-Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures re-imagined by Katherine Paterson and illustrated by Pamela Dalton is just such a book. The picture book is one of the most beautiful modern day children's books that I have found to date. The paper cut-outs that are used to illustrate the lovely adaptation or re-imagined Canticle of the Creatures by Saint Francis of Assisi are ...more
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
The translation/reimagining was good, but the illustrations were SO BORING. First of all, I'm not sure what reproduction process the publisher used for these images but it was terrible, I couldn't at all tell the illustrations were were cut-paper until I read the info at the back. The illustrations are so flat! Cut paper should not look this flat! Secondly, I would love to see a diverse take in illustrations for this prayer because it's got so much going on in it but the way it is illustrated he ...more
Shauna Masura
Brother Sun Sister Moon is a visually stunning introduction to a generous spirituality grounded in history and tradition. The time-honored words of St. Francis of Assisi teach readers to observe the world around them with the admiration and love of siblings and that every phase of life and every kind of person can be viewed through a lens of gratitude. Illustrations, poised gracefully against a black background, turn each page into a galaxy in and of itself. The soulful, folksy paper-cuttings an ...more
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING illustrations by Pamela Dalton paired with the wonderful Katherine Paterson's prose, BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON is a gorgeous retelling of St Francis' CANTICLE OF THE CREATURES.
I've always been drawn to the humility, no nonsense attitude of St. Francis, and I think Paterson gets that tone spot on too. Her voice shines brightly throughout-harmonizing perfectly with St. Francis.
Pamela Dalton excels at matching Paterson's prose. Her scenes of the earth's & the Almighty's bounty, mystery
Bailey Carlson
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Brother Sun, Sister Moon was a great book about the Canticle of the creatures. The best part about this book was the illustrations. I really thought it was neat how the illustrator put them onto black paper rather than white because it really made all of the images stand out more than they normally would. Each page was filled with creatures of the earth that were significantly detailed, and the color scheme was excellent. Bright colors were used, within reason, and when talking about the night t ...more
Jason Penckofer
On a Mock Caldecott roll today, I guess. The text is Saint Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of the Creatures" reimagined by Katherine Paterson and illustrated by Pamela Dalton "...with cut paper and watercolor." Although I'll admit that this is not my sort of poem (either version), I do like that the book presents the original poem at the end of the book for comparison. The illustrations are quite impressive: the paper cutting technique used creates a very particular kind of depth in the illustrati ...more
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Katherine Paterson reimagines St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures. Patterson's text pairs beautifully with Pamela Dalton's stunning cut-paper illustrations.

The end of the book includes The Canticle of the Creatures, and notes from the author and illustrator about creating the work.

Pamela Dalton uses a special cut-paper technique known as "Scherenschnitte"(scissor cuts). All of the illustrations in the book were cut from the same piece of paper, and then painted with water colors.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lisa and Kezia!
Extraordinary cut paper designs against a dramatic black background. Reminds me of Kate Seredy illustrations for some reason--maybe the red cheeks, the wholesome flavor. The animals are delightful and the many details (the bread, the little moths, the birds hidden in the borders, the lambs, the man wiping his brow...) wonderful! I do like the original canticle better than Paterson's interpretation as it is lovely and flowing, but this version is fine for children who need simpler language and im ...more
Karly Winters
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a poetry-verse book. Originally, it was a hymn made by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1224, but the author put in book form. It thanks God for all that he had done and given to us like the sun, moon, earth, water, fire, life, and death. It is definitely a deeper piece of children’s literature that is quite sentimental. It would definitely appeal to those with strong religious backgrounds and who want this kind of subject brought up to their children. It’s a good read though with a good messa ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
The illustrations were really interesting. I was even more intrigued to see they were scherenschnitte - paper cutting! All of the illustrations were one marvelous paper design and then the illustrator painted over them with watercolors. Impressive! The newer rendition of the prayer of Assisi was good as well. While I enjoyed this book and thought it showcased a rather remarkable layer of skill in the design; it's not something I'd see buying or reading over and over. I'd probably still recommend ...more
Interesting new way to see Assisi's prayer. Illustrations are intricate and reminiscent of Middle Age life and art.

-cover already hints at the beauty and complexity inside
-endpapers do as well
-hard to believe this is carefully cut paper
-each spread is frame and gorgeous detail
-black background allows the artwork to stand out
-mirror imaging is perfect
-white night scene is equally beautiful as the full color ones
-movement in play of wind and flow of water
-detail on millo scene is immaculate
Laura Siegel
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, ebook
This gorgeous children's book, illustrating Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticles of the Creatures, is done with watercolor paper cuts that are so exquisite you want to meditate on each one. I can't imagine the book being more visually stunning then the ebook, the pages turning as delicately as a butterflies wings. But judging by the other reviews the book is likely just as lovely. You don't have to be religious or believe in God to appreciate the words--an exquisite meditation of gratitude and lo ...more
Meg McGregor
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this artistic, uplifting, and inspirational book six stars, I would!!

This is a retelling of St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of the Creatures". It is Assisi's prayer of praise and thanks for all that the Father has given us.

Written two years before his death, (approximately 1224), this book is as timeless as it is poignant.

The message it gives is even more valuable now and needs to be listened to!!

My favorite part was:

"We praise you for Sister Moon and all our Sister Stars, who
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From author's website:

People are always asking me questions I don't have answers for. One is, "When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?" The fact is that I never wanted to be a writer, at least not when I was a child, or even a young woman. Today I want very much to be a writer. But when I was ten, I wanted to be either a movie star or a missionary. When I was twenty, I wanted t
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