Children's Book Review: The Pope's Cat

I had the privilege of previewing a new children’s book called The Pope’s Cat. This adorable story is the first of a new series about a small feline who finds her way into the heart (and apartment) of the Pope. The book is being released on March 13, which coincides with the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ election.

This book is recommended for ages six and up, although my five-year-old was just an enthralled as my nine- and ten-year-olds. While it might have been wordier than he preferred, the story of the sweet cat named Margaret captured his attention and kept him entertained.  The book is a chapter book, which makes it great for older children. I had intended to read one chapter a day to my children, but after the first chapter they refused to let me put the book down and insisted I keep reading. We ended up reading the 64-page book in one sitting.

Written by Jon M. Sweeney and illustrated by Roy Deleon, The Pope’s Cat is the story of a stray cat living on the streets of Rome. She defiantly fends for herself and is always finding scraps of yummy food to devour. One day, while discreetly walking around town, the pope comes upon the cat and after a cute interaction decides to take her back with him to the Vatican. The cat, who quickly finds a place in his heart, finds herself in quite a contrasting lifestyle compared to her life on the streets. Margaret (the name the pope gave to the cat) ends up at a papal event and gets quite a lot of attention!

 

The book is a great read for many reasons: first, the story of the independent cat is entertaining as she provides for herself. Second, the book is filled with good facts to teach children about the papacy and it makes the pope relatable to them. The illustrations are entertaining as well and are very large, so they’re easy for children to enjoy.

My only regret is not having gelato at home to enjoy while reading! There are some cute references to the Italian treat and it would have helped the book come to life for my kids! I did, however, enjoy pulling out pictures of my husband and me at the Vatican and showing those to my kids while we read the story. It was fun to show them that we’d been to the places in the book!

If you’re looking for a fun chapter book to enjoy with your children, I recommend preordering your own copy of The Pope’s Cat. The release date is March 13th, 2018.

Margaret looking out on the Square page 34.JPG

Illustration from “The Pope’s Cat” copyright 2018 Roy DeLeon. Courtesy of Paraclete Press. Used with permission.