Christ is Risen!
“The man of God Cuthbert came to live on the Island of Farne alone. All alone with God he meant to stay- just Cuthbert, God, and the birds of Farne.” So begins this charming tale of the great Celtic saint, Cuthbert and his early days on the Island of Farne.
The Ravens of Farne: A Tale of Saint Cuthbert is written by Donna Farley and illustrated by Heather Hayward. Although slated as a picturebook for preschool and up, I have to say it captivated my imagination and won my heart.
The Ravens of Farne is full of colourful images, wonderful, charming depictions of the saint building walls around his new hermitage, growing his grain and offering hospitality to the monks of Lindisfarne. The style and colour choice of the illustrations make this story instantly attractive, but thankfully do not overshadow the prose.
I have often found children’s books to be more rich in illustrations than in storylines. This is not the case with The Ravens of Farne. Donna Farley’s writing makes this sweet story of St. Cuthbert’s trouble with the ravens come alive. In soft, rhythmic prose Farley describes the temptations St. Cuthbert encounters when attempting to build his hermitage and guesthouse on the Island of Farne.
The Ravens of Farne is not only a pleasure to read but also offers us a peek into the life and style of Celtic saints and teaches us a good lesson about humility and asking forgiveness. I highly recommend this book for children and the young at heart and look forward to reading more books written by Donna Farley.
Here is a description of the book on the back cover:
The seven-century Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne is one of England’s most beloved saints, honored also by the Eastern Church. Saint Cuthbert’s adventurous, yet humble spirit is demonstrated in this delightful tale of his encounter with an unruly raven. The lyrical, humorous text and simple, charming illustrations of Ravens of Farne will appeal to readers of all ages.