Kathleen Norris, acclaimed author of The Cloister Walk, offers a moving text to accompany beloved artist Tomie dePaola's strikingly beautiful frescolike paintings in the dramatic and inspiring story of two miraculous, yet very human siblings.
The twins, Benedict and Scholastica, grew up as lively best friends in northern Italy, but their paths diverged when it became time for them to enter adulthood. Benedict's life was filled with dramatic moments and miracles as he grew into an important spiritual leader. Scholastica lived a quieter life, but she remained a strong influence on her brother as he developed the Rule of St. Benedict, which guides the Benedictine order to this day.
Poet, feminist and Benedictine oblate Norris (The Cloister Walk) turns to the sixth-century twins Benedict and Scholastica for this informative dual biography. In easily accessible language and a straightforward tone, she describes the twins' embrace of the monastic life and Benedict's miraculous visions and special calling. Norris is at her most appealing in her wry contrast of Benedict's hard-won insights into the peaceful maintenance of monastic order, codified in his famous Rule, with Scholastica's natural understanding of the shared spiritual life. Young readers will be lured into the narrative by dePaola's friendly art, presented in panels that loosely recall the structure and composition of medieval religious art. Like Norris, he emphasizes Benedict's and Scholastica's humanity rather than their saintliness. Readers will be able to identify with these protagonists, even if the complexities of their vocations elude them. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.