I have just finished reading to my children “Joseph and Chico”.
It is quite good–and certainly the children enjoyed the story. But, although I hate to be a spoil sport, my professional opinion as a librarian did kick in a little. I was disappointed that, although beautifully illustrated, the Holy Father himself is never depicted except as a child. That picture of the back of his head on the cover is as close as you get (shades of Ex 33:23!). The other thing is that the conceit of the cat telling the story is just a little stretched. After all, as the text makes clear, Chico has spent very little time with the Holy Father. And the fact of the matter is that Papa Benny’s life is really not that exciting for a child. Not, at least, compared to JPII’s. (My youngest daughter was enthralled by the Jon Voigt movie of the previous pontiff–“A man got SHOT, Mummy!”) It is hard to explain the 1968 student rebellions to a 7-year old! Or the joys of the study of theology and philosophy! Still, over all it was a good preparation for their encounter in Sydney in July.
By the way, if you want a quick video news roundup of the Pope’s tour to the US, have a look here at Rome Reports.