Brief Reviews, VOLUME 11

Phil Gallery / S. Mackenzie – St. Francis and the Animals [Review]

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1612619738″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”259″]The Saint in Vivid Color
A Brief Review of 

St. Francis and the Animals:
A Mother Bird’s Story

Phil Gallery
Illustrated by Sybil Mackenzie

Hardback: San Damiano Books, 2018
Buy Now:  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”1612619738″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith

“These stunning illustrations and the engaging text describe how Francis related to a great variety of animals. This book is sure to spark valuable conversations.”
-Fr. Pat McCloskey, OFM

Narrated by Mother Bird, this picture book is an elegantly-illustrated retelling the familiar stories of St. Francis and his interaction with the animals.

The stories may be familiar, but the highlight of this book is the pictures that capture the reader’s attention, and entice her to linger over each page, relishing its vividly colored and exquisite details.

The beauty of these pages, stirs our imaginations to follow in Francis’s footsteps, in our care for the natural world in which we are immersed, and particularly for animals. In our technological and increasingly urban world, in which wildlife often goes ignored, these illustrated stories compel us to pay attention to the wonders of creation that surround us at any moment, regardless of our location.

St. Francis and the Animals would make a wonderful gift, for young readers, or for anyone who appreciates beautiful books.


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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at:

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