What better way can there be to peek into the life of Pope Francis than through the eyes of his cat? Cat Margaret, the hero of the a new series of chapter books, The Pope's Cat, by Jon M. Sweeney, is a fictional character but she could very well be real. I don't know if Pope Francis owns a cat but I do know a few priests who have a feline friend - don't you?
Pope Francis meets a stray cat ,names her Margaret and smuggles her into the Vatican where she observes the goings on at a level appealing to young children. Young readers learn about life in the Vatican, it's protocol and governance. They meet the Swiss Guard and even the Queen of England on a state visit.
The black and white illustrations by Jon Deleon complement the text perfectly. They are serene little snap shots of everyday life surrounding the Pope. These small 64-page books are written for ages six to ten but can also be a fun way to introduce older kids to the Holy Father, the Vatican and its culture.
In the second book in The Pope’s Cat series, Margaret's Night in St. Peters: A Christmas Story, Margaret, the cat, learns about the Pope's duties at Christmas such a Midnight Mass and the Urbi et Orbi message. The HolyFather finds the time to show Margaret St. Peter's Basilica including Michaelangelo's great sculptures, the Pieta and St.Peter.
Book three of the Pope's Cat series, Margaret's Holy Week, continues introducing famous Vatican art with a visit to the Sixtine Chapel. Margaret learns all about the great liturgical events from Palm Sunday to Good Friday while experiencing joy, solemnity and penitence together with the Holy Father and the prayer of the Church. The Holy Thursday foot washing in a Roman prison is especially touching. Margaret also learns about the Colosseum and the early martyrs.
This book will be a great addition to your children's Lenten reading.
After enjoying a cat's life with Pope Francis, you may like to read a similar story, The Abbot and I: As Told by Josie, the Cat, in the post Star Athletes of the Spirit: Kid's Books About Monks.
Read more about Pope Francis in Regina Doman's graphic novel Pope Francis: I Believe in Mercy in the post Some Great Graphic Novels For Catholic Kids.
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