Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World (Hardcover)
2017 Illumination Book Awards, Gold (tie): Children’s Picture Book
2017 Independent Press Awards, Distinguished Favorite: Book Cover Design, Children’s
2017 Catholic Press Association Book Awards, First Place: Children’s Books
2017 Catholic Press Association Book Awards, First Place: Pope Francis
2017 Association of Catholic Publishers’ “Excellence in Publishing Book Awards,” Book of the Year
If you could ask Pope Francis one question, what would it be?
Children have questions and struggles just like adults, but rarely are they given the chance to voice their concerns and ask the big questions resting deep in their hearts. In Dear Pope Francis, Pope Francis gives them that chance and celebrates their spiritual depth by directly answering questions from children around the world. Some are fun. Some are serious. And some will quietly break your heart. But all of them are from children who deserve to know and feel God’s unconditional love.
Also available in Spanish as Querido Papa Francisco.
"Feels akin to sitting in on a series of intimate conversations." -Publishers Weekly
"The People's Pope shows that he is a down-to-earth man who understands both religion and children." -Kirkus Reviews
— Publishers Weekly
The People's Pope shows that he is a down-to-earth man who understands both religion and children. Left-hand pages show 30 actual letters and hand-drawn pictures from children in Jesuit institutions around the world, culled from 259 submitted, along with snapshots of the children, their names, ages, and countries, and the typed English texts of their letters. Right-hand pages, on paper meant to look like Vatican stationery, bear the pope's answers, given in an interview with editor Father Antonio Spadaro, many talking about the pictures the children have drawn. The questions ("these are tough...!") are all over the map in terms of both theology and intimacy. An 8-year-old girl from Kenya wants to know how Jesus walked on water, a 10-year-old girl from the Philippines wants to know why parents argue, and Prajla, 6, from Albania wants to know if Francis enjoyed dancing in his youth. Answering in terms children can understand, Pope Francis addresses both their questions and the fears and hopes that lie beneath them. While these questions were likely chosen to present the pope's vision and stances on many matters of Roman Catholic faith—dealing with the poor, the afterlife, prayer, evangelization, mercy (oddly, none address the environment)— that doesn't mean that his answers to these youngest of his flock are anything other than important or relevant. As Spadaro writes, Pope Francis understands that "One must not complicate God, especially if this complication distances God from the people." People's Pope indeed. (Religion. 4-12)
— Kirkus Reviews
Francis is not just answering these questions, he is paying attention to who is asking them, and finding a way to make them feel seen.
— Maria Russo
A uniquely candid project that reveals the curiosities, dreams, and insecurities of contemporary children and offers comfort and advice from a Catholic perspective.
— Publishers Weekly
Pope Francis is delightfully present in his answers to the collection of letters written him by children across the world.
Dear Pope Francis offers a quiet profundity that even non-believers can get into.
Many of the common themes in the children's letters will show your own kids that we have things in common with people all over the globe.
Dear Pope Francis is a beautiful collection of questions that the world, no matter what age, shares. It’s a book that brings the world together and focuses on faith. There is no book like this collection.
Hidden in this deceptively simple book is a great deal of profound theology, explained simply and directly.
— James Martin, SJ