hosted today by A Curious Thing
(pub. 9.1.2011) 40 pagesA True Tale with A Cherry On Top
A uthor and illustrator: Demi
C haracter: Joan of Arc
"'Joan's great confidence inspired everyone, and soon the battle for Orleans began ... With her banner that said, "Jesus, Maria' raised high, she gave great courage and hope to all the soldiers... Never stopping for a moment of praise ..."
T antalizing taste:
"As a young girl in a small village in France, Joan prayed daily that France would be delivered from the English and Burgundian invaders who were ravishing the country. When Joan was thirteen, she had a life-changing experience. The archangel Michael appeared in a vision and told her that she would save the kingdom of France and lead the dauphin (heir to the throne) to Reims Cathedral to be crowned king. Calling herself the Maid of God, Joan set off to gather an army, win a number of crucial battles, and install the dauphin on the French throne..."
and something more: Exquisite is truly the word that comes to mind when I savored Demi's illustrations. The jacket flap explains that "Demi has drawn Joan’s battles and triumphs with exquisite detail inspired by the stained glass, architecture, painting, and sculpture of the fifteenth century."
Demi so aptly conveys the bleakness of Joan of Arc's situation when she was "shut up in a dungeon at Rouen ... guarded night and day by soldiers and forced to endure their brutality" by rendering the illustration of the curving stone stairs and ceiling of the dungeon in pen and ink on a gray background with only the people in color -- such a contrast to all the illustrations of radiant color and glimmering gold. Exquisite!