Friday, November 6, 2009

Review: Joseph and Chico

Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told By a Cat by Jeanne Perego, illustrations by Donata Dal Molin Casagrande, translated by Andrew Matt.

What a delightful book! We read about Pope Benedict's life from birth through his election as Pope, through agitations, wars and other tribulations. In clear and accessible language filled with anecdotes, we see a young boy grow into a great man.

Even the introduction, by Father Georg Ganswein, is worth our time. It is addressed to the children who read the biography. In it, he says:

Precisely because he is filled with trust in Jesus, the Pope is not discouraged by difficulties and never gets tired of loving everyone. In a special way, children, he loves you all, and he also knows that, with a little effort, you know how to be generous. Better yet, he prays every day that you may grow up to be healthy and good in body and soul. You will then be happy and be able to make the world a better place.

Let's be honest. A great many Christian books are twaddle. They may be presenting Christian behavior, but they're not enjoyable. Joseph and Chico is nothing like that. It is a wonderful book, beautifully illustrated. I had to request it from interlibrary loan, but I will be on the watch for our own copy, and a copy of the sequel, Max and Benedict: A Bird's Eye View of the Pope's Daily Life.

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