The Day the Animals Came by Frances Ward Weller
A Story of Saint Francis Day

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Ria hates New York. She misses her friends, and the warm Puerto Rican sun; most of all she misses the animals she left behind. Then, one day, Ria's neighbor Mrs. Blum takes her on a surprise trip: to a big cathedral-it's the festival of St. Francis Day, when everyone brings their pets to be blessed! At first, Ria is disappointed. She doesn't have a pet of her own for blessing. But a mishap with a mischievous duck leads to Ria being asked to join the magnificent Procession of Animals, right into the church! With Groucho the duck in her arms as she dances with elephants and turtles, snakes and dogs, Ria begins to realize that she's not so far from home after all.

This story of a special New York tradition has universal appeal for animal lovers of all ages, everywhere.

Illustrated by Loren Long.


About Frances Ward Weller

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Loren Long is a New York Times best-selling illustrator. Loren has illustrated Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could and Madonna's Mr. Peabody's Apples. His other New York Times best-selling books include: Toy Boat by Randall DeSeve which won the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Picture Book, Angela and the Baby Jesus by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt, and the chapter book series Sluggers that he created with Phil Bildner. Loren's first picture book, Angela Johnson's I Dream of Trains, won the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration. His version of Walt Whitman's When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer was a Golden Kite Honor Book. Loren has written and illustrated two picture books, Drummer Boy and Otis. Her title Otis and the Tornado made Publisher's Weekly Best Seller List in 2011.
Published January 1, 2003 by Philomel Books. 35 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Best approached with Kleenex in hand, this tale of a young immigrant reaching a new understanding of her place in the world will find its place in plenty of hearts.

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Publishers Weekly

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Weller's (Riptide) tidy plot centers on an immigrant child, Ria, who is brought to the service by her neighbor Mrs. B (two Yiddish expressions early on point to Mrs. B's own background), where the girl marvels at the astonishing mix of people and pets (and later at the farm animals, camel and ele...

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