Joseph and Chico
Illustrated by Donata Dal Molin Casagrande
In this beautifully illustrated book for children, Chico the cat describes the life of his "best friend", Pope Benedict, in this authorised biography of the Pope for young people approved by the Vatican.
"Dear Children, here you will find a biography that is different than others because it is told by a cat and it is not every day a cat can consider the Holy Father his friend and sit down to write his life story," the Pope's personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, says in the foreword.
The Pope is known for his fondness of animals, especially cats, and Joseph and Chico is narrated by Chico, a real cat who took up with the Pope in his native Germany long before he became the Pope. Chico tells the story of the life of "my best friend" from his birth in Germany in 1927, through his days as a young man, priest, bishop and cardinal.
With colorful and sometimes amusing language, the author makes this funny cat tell us about the life of the young Joseph all the way up to his election as Pontiff on April 19, 2005. It recounts the Nazi era in Germany when the Pope was a teenager, calling the war years "one of the most dramatic and shameful times in the history of man". Later when he became Cardinal Ratzinger, Chico recounts how each time when the Cardinal returned to Germany from Rome for a vacation, the cat would run into his house and sit on his lap as he played the piano. The lavish color illustrations throughout make this a wonderful gift book and a cherished keepsake.
Max and Benedict
This lovely illustrated book for children (of all ages!) is a sequel to Joseph and Chico, the international best-seller that told the story of the life of Pope Benedict XVI from his youth through his election as the Pope. With the same award-winning author and illustrator, this lavishly illustrated book is aimed at children but in a way that even adults will enjoy. It takes up the story of Benedict's XVIs new life as the Pope.
The narrator of this book is a blue rock-thrush that spends most of his time on the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica and in the Vatican gardens. (The scientific name of this kind of bird is Monticola Solitarius, and it really lives in Rome.) This particular bird's name is Max, and from his solitary perch, he observes everything in the vicinity. He is fascinated by one human in particular: the Pope. Max tells readers what the Pope does on a typical day, as well as about special moments in his life, such as his vacations and apostolic trips. The book provides a delicate portrait of the Holy Fathers many responsibilities, and it helps us understand the Pope Benedict's important obligations that he always strives to carry out with love, faith and dedication.
Max talks about the Pope's private and public audiences, his meetings with heads of state and with children, important liturgical moments, and the Angelus. He also describes more curious events, such as the blessing of the lambs and of a fire truck. He tells us about the moments that the Pope devotes to writing and to prayer. Max flies to see the Pope at his summer home, Castel Gandolfo, and is sorry he cannot accompany him on his important apostolic trips, but is happy each time the Pope returns to the Vatican. Max is also delighted when he sees the Pope relax a bit, playing the piano or strolling through the Vatican gardens. Max loves music, too, as do many of his friends, who live in the Vatican gardens. The lavish color illustrations throughout make this a wonderful gift book and a cherished keepsake.
Through this wonderful story, the author presents some of the fundamental ideas of Pope Benedict XVI and the important daily life and activities of the successor of St. Peter, told in simple words that young readers can understand and enjoy. The lavish watercolor illustrations make a wonderful gift book and a cherished keepsake for all ages.