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Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat Hardcover – March 1, 2008


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Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat + Max and Benedict: A Bird's Eye View of the Pope's Daily Life + Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Talks to Children on Their First Holy Communion
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586172522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586172527
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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I bought this book for my nephew who is 4 and he loves it.
Kristin Valerie Scarth
Joseph and Chico is a 37-page children's picture book dealing with the life of Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI, as told by a cat named Chico.
jiffy
Although this book appears to be written for children, it is the type of cute book that will appeal to the cat lover as well.
Dennis Doverspike

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By annie VINE VOICE on March 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great story for children about the life of Pope Benedict. It is written from the perspective of a beautiful tabby cat named Chico. He draws you into his story with the first sentence: "MEEOOOOW! I'm Chico, and who are you?"

Sprinkled with humor throughout the entire book, we also find a lot of very interesting information about the life of Pope Benedict. It is written in a fashion that will keep children interested even though there is a lot of text for a children's book.

Chico's great sense of humor shows in his reaction to war. He writes: "We cats do not make war. We don't even know what wars are. In order to make other cats aware that they are crossing over into our territory, or that they are courting a cat who's already engaged to be married, we put on a threatening look, raise the fur on our backs, puff out our tails, and screech at the top of our lungs, "RRRREEEOOOOOWWW!", which would frighten anyone. It's a shame that you humans are not so advanced."

I agree with the previous review that the book is actually appropriate for slightly older children than 4-8 years, possibly 7-12; and there is no doubt that cat lovers will love this book.

I also recommend "Friday Night with the Pope" if you haven't already read it. It is a beautiful story about Pope John Paul II and a Friday evening meal with Jewish friends told through the eyes of a young boy.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Patricia L. Marks on April 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This tender book about Pope Benedict and his love of cats is very endearing and informative. It shows the gentle nature of a somewhat shy scholar who was reluctant when chosen Pope. His reputation as the stern head of the Holy Office preceded him. Now after these few years as Pontiff, he has become an beloved writer and thinker to so many.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Yank on April 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
With Pope Benedict XVI visiting in the United States, I thought it would be a good time for the kids to read more about him.

After reading the reviews posted here, I purchased Joseph and Chico, The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat and I must agree with the positive reviews.

Told from the point of view of Chico, we learn about the life of Pope Benedict XVI, beginning with his birth in Bavaria up until his election as Pope. In a simple storybook form, it relates the major events of his life.

Although it is rather long for a picture book, the lively prose and interesting point of view held my daughters' and my interest.

While the bright, colorful illustrations are not exceptional, they nicely complement the text.

The unusual point of view adds an element of fun as the cat makes humorous comments. This elicited laughs from my ten-year-old daughter on more than one occasion.

A heartwarming story that is true, Joseph and Chico is a delightful read.

Thanks for posting the positive reviews and inspiriting us to read it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mary B. Adams on April 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a charming book about Pope Benedict XVI for slightly older children. It is released at a most fortunate time -- as the Holy Father will soon be coming to the US and is much in the news.

I expected it to be for quite young children because it is "narrated" by the Pope's cat. It is written in a more mature style, however, suitable only for parents to read to their young children -- which is perfectly acceptable. The drawings are adorable and add a lot. I enjoyed it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Doverspike on March 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my mother, a devout Catholic and a cat lover. This book pleased both the Catholic and the cat lover in her. Although this book appears to be written for children, it is the type of cute book that will appeal to the cat lover as well. I am not an expert in assessing reading levels for children, but this book seems to be too difficult for the lower elementary grades. At that level, an adult might want to read the book to the child.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to love this book. After all, the narrator is a ginger tabby (my favorite color and type of cat) and the subject is Pope Benedict XVI (a learned and compassionate man), who, as titular head of the Roman Catholic Church, is one of the most highly revered men on the planet.

This particular story is the authorized biography of Benedict's life for children. And it is a lovely, well-written story for children.

So, what's my objection? It pains my heart to write this and is meant in no way a criticism of the pope or the church. This cat Chico was there in the town of Marktl-on-Inn, April 16, 1927, when Joseph Ratzinger was born, and he was still alive when Joseph was declared the new pope, on April 19, 2005. That makes that cat 78 years old (or older)--that's in people years. In cat years, he is 546 years old.

At first, I thought I was mistaken until I double-checked the illustrations. No, Chico is there in Joseph's life right from the beginning. Was I supposed to go with artistic license to pretend I didn't notice how old the cat is? Reservations aside, the story is interesting, informative, and quite pleasant.

My other objection is the copious amount of words used in a children's story. As it is written for ages 9-12, then the target audience is correct. However, this book is designed with illustrations--beautiful ones at that--to show various scenes from Joseph's life. The book, then, becomes an unusual combination of words for older children and illustrations for younger children. However, one thing is for certain: Children should never outgrow their love of picture stories. Truthfully, this book is as much for adults as children, for cat lovers as much as Catholics, for the aesthetics as much as the information.
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