Joan of Arc

Demi. Marshall Cavendish, $19.99 (56p) ISBN 978-0-7614-5999-6
Author-illustrator Demi (Rumi: Whirling Dervish) does her usual visually stunning work in this illustrated biography of the storied Joan of Arc, a patron saint of France. The outlines of Joan’s life are known well enough: pious and unsophisticated young Joan hears voices from God that send her to the 15th-century court of the Dauphin, Charles of France. Her victories in battle assure the ascension of the opportunistic Charles to the French throne. But when Joan, heeding secular rather than divine guidance, begins to fail, Charles abandons her, leading to her capture by the English and martyrdom. Demi goes into detail in glorious color, from deep regal blue to medieval gold, bordering her illustrations with small symbols that introduce young readers’ eyes to the glories of illuminated manuscripts and Book of Hours visual richness. The message of female empowerment is a bonus. Recommended for libraries and especially for Catholic educators, who can put to good use fresh renderings of the lives of familiar saints. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2011
Release date: 01/01/2011
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