The touching, magical story of a boy in a war-torn country and the stone lion that rescues him.
Renato loves his home in Florence, Italy. He loves playing with his friends in the Piazza della Signoria. He loves walking home by the beautiful buildings and fountains with his father in the evenings. And he especially loves the stone lion who seems to smile at him from a pedestal in the piazza. The lion makes him feel safe.
But one day his father tells him that their family must leave. Their country is at war, and they will be safer in America. Renato can only think of his lion. Who will keep him safe?
With luminous watercolor paintings, Barbara DiLorenzo captures the beauty of Florence in this heartwarming and ultimately magical picture book.
About the Author
Barbara DiLorenzo fell in love with Florence, Italy, when she first visited as a student at Rhode Island School of Design. Since then, she has returned to visit with her son, who is half Italian, and more recently by herself to paint and do research for this book. An award-winning watercolor painter, she now lives in New Jersey and teaches at the Arts Council of Princeton.
Praise for Renato and the Lion:
* “This love letter to Florence should spur diverse conversations, from art to history to the plight of refugees.”—Booklist, starred review
“Driven by the notion of safeguarding art during military conflict, this debut portrays a wartime reality that is not commonly addressed. A special book and additional purchase that is best-shared one-on-one.”—School Library Journal
“DiLorenzo's often lovely watercolors are best when capturing nature. The endpapers' sun-washed Florence and Renato's dream-ride over the moonlit Ponte Vecchio are lovely...DiLorenzo's careful research yields a touching tale about art's ability to deeply affect both adults and children.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Barbara DiLorenzo’s tale was inspired by a true story and shows how a child’s connection to art lasts a lifetime.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“DiLorenzo lavishes attention on Florence’s architectural treasures, and her buildings glow with warmth…DiLorenzo’s story is simultaneously a historical account of a family’s emigration and a dream story about the power of great art.”—Publishers Weekly