This collection of quotes from Pope John Paul II is a testimonial to his love and respect for the children of the world. Each page offers a stirring, inspirational message that speaks to important Catholic themes in childhood, such as "Family," "School," "Prayer," "Suffering," "Peace," and "My First Communion." Alongside each quote there is an exquisite color photograph of a child or group of children that embodies the theme.
Under the opening heading "Greeting," Pope John Paul offered these words in an address to a crowd of 10,000 children at Vatican City: "The Pope wishes well to everyone, but he has a preference for the youngest, because they had a special place in the heart of Christ, who wished to remain with the children and to talk with the young. He addressed his call to the young especially, and John, the youngest apostle, was his favorite." What child would not feel honored and captivated by such a respectful invitation? This is an excellent gift book for Catholic children, who will certainly beam with pride, prayer, and purpose upon reading this loving tribute. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
This beautifully produced, thoughtfully conceived book seems an ideal ceremonial gift for a Catholic child. Excerpts from pope John Paul II's letters and speeches to children serve as text, and his words embody both comfort and challenge. Speaking about world issues (poverty, "groups who do violence," illiteracy) and about such concepts as love, hope and prayer, the pontiff addresses children as full participants in the Christian faith. "The Pope counts very much on your prayers," he writes. "We must pray together and pray hard, that humanity, made up of billions of human beings, may become more and more the family of God and able to live in peace." Glowing color photos of the Pope and of cherubic children who make up his international audience strike a reverent yet tender tone. Offering communion, visiting a classroom, embracing or being embraced by children, the pope projects affection, while the children themselves, many dressed in national costumes, are the very picture of innocence and piety. From the padded cover to the ornate black-and-white capitals to the tiny reproductions of paintings of angels and saints above the page numbers, the production values are uniformly high. Several purely Catholic references, e.g., to God's call "to live in marriage or to be priests," and the pope's delivery itself indicate the original Catholic audience for his remarks; accordingly, this book will be of interest primarily to Catholic families. A Spanish-language edition, Para los ni?os ($16.95 -14718-2) will be released simultaneously. Ages 7-up. (Mar.)
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