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Patrick : Patron Saint of Ireland
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About the Author

Tomie dePaola is the beloved Caldecott Honor- and Newbery Honor-winning author and/or illustrator of close to 250 books, including Strega Nona and Quiet. Tomie was born in Connecticut and grew up there with his parents, brother, and two sisters. He loved reading and books from an early age and knew, when he was four, that he wanted to write and illustrate stories when he grew up. Tomie is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association for his "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children," the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association, and the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature." He was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in illustration and has received the New Hampshire's Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure.

Reviews

PreS-Gr 4-- For answering requests for information about St. Patrick, this is the ideal book to replace a page in the encyclopedia or a pictureless chapter in a musty old book of saints. The story opens with his kidnapping as a boy and youth as a slave in Ireland, and recounts his escape to his family in Britain, the inspiring vision that led him to return as Ireland's first bishop, and the spread of Christianity on the Emerald Isle under his leadership. dePaola's palette is dominated by earth and moss tones, and works to convey a distinctly Celtic flavor. An arresting use of space runs the gamut from double-page spreads to half-page illustrations. This constantly shifting balance of art and text adds action to the tale. The book concludes with a collection of one-page vignettes describing a few colorful legends about St. Patrick. This approach may give some readers pause as they try to distinguish between these legends and certain events in the body of the story that could also be considered legendary. Then again, this setup could be no more incongruous than the role that Patrick himself has come to play--that of folk hero and saint. This admirable picture-book offering will fill a gap in most collections. --Lisa S. Murphy, Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA

Fans of the prolific dePaola's heartfelt celebrations of religious themes will welcome this handsome picture-book biography. His signature style is well showcased here and, as he did in The Lady of Guadalupe , dePaola effectively integrates both the tones and design elements of (in this case) Celtic art into his renderings. As with his pictorial biography Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi , dePaola succeeds in placing a near-mythic religious figure within a historic context and successfully relates the familiar and not-so-familiar details of his life: Patrick was of British (although when it was a part of the Holy Roman Empire), not Celtic, ancestry; March 17 is the date of his death, not of his birth. Readers will particularly enjoy the addition of five legends about St. Patrick, including the snakes and the shamrock. This well-designed entry has perennial appeal. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

"Fans of the prolific dePaola's heartfelt celebrations of religious themes will welcome this handsome picture-book biography. His signature style is well showcased here and, as he did in The Lady of Guadalupe , dePaola effectively integrates both the tones and design elements of (in this case) Celtic art into his renderings. . . . Readers will particularly enjoy the addition of five legends about St. Patrick, including the snakes and the shamrock. This well-designed entry has perennial appeal."-Publishers Weekly


"DePaola's rich colors are somewhat muted here, and beautifully balanced; the whole effect is decorative, reverent, and serene. Five legends appear at the end, each succinctly stated and with a single illustration--a good way to differentiate between the historical and the apocryphal. An excellent contribution."-Kirkus Reviews

"The colors are rich and warm, and the gestures and expressions speak of elemental drama, exaggerated and yet formalized, and with occasional playful detail. . . . In a final cheerful note, dePaola remembers himself as a young child seeing a 'very colorful statue' of Saint Patrick and the snakes when his Irish maternal grandfather took him to church in Connecticut. The joy of those memories can be felt in this picture book." -Booklist

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