Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: The Story of Saint John Paul II A Boy Who Became Pope

Sometimes when children's books arrive on my front doorstep I'm the one who's the most excited about the book.  When a copy of The Story of Saint John Paul II A Boy Who Became Pope showed up at my house shortly after his canonization I was really excited.  St. John Paul II is easily one of my favorite saints.  Picture me doing my best Buddy the Elf impression when he heard that "Santa Claus is coming to town.  10AM tomorrow morning.  10AM..." when he started screaming "Santa!  I know him!" Only 1. I didn't scream Santa; rather I squealed with delight, and 2. I didn't personally know JPII like Buddy knew Santa, but he was pope for most of my life and I've always liked him, even when I wasn't Catholic.  You get the idea.  SUPER.  EXCITED.

So if just seeing the book got such a strong reaction you're probably wondering about the story, right? Of course, you are.  Well let me say that the story does not disappoint.  The story beautifully recalls the life of St. John Paul II from his very beginnings to the day he becomes pope.  The story is told on a level that will grab the attention of children in the 5-10 year old age range.  I read the story to my 2 1/2 year old and she happily sat and listened to the story and looked at the pictures.  So even younger preschoolers who are accustomed to listening to longer story books would enjoy this book.  I'm already looking forward to sharing this book with my kindergarten religious education class during the upcoming school year.

The illustrations in this book are simply beautiful.  Page after page is filled with rich illustrations.  I really liked how each of the illustrations matched the mood of the story unfolding on the page.  Not all picture books have illustrations that correlate with the story as well as this one does.  Children will enjoy looking at the pictures while listening to the story.    

Aside from the beautiful story and illustrations, I really like that this story is told in such a way that will help younger children to know St. John Paul II who is fondly remembered by so many of us who remember when this saint was alive.  Since the story follows JPII from infancy to his pontificate, it nicely illustrates to youngsters that it's never too early to start striving for sainthood.

I was provided with a copy of The Story of Saint John Paul II A Boy Who Became Pope by the publisher, Pauline Kids.  Visit Pauline Media for more information on this title as well as a sneak peek inside the book.

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