The texts have been selected by Father Antonio Spadaro SJ, director of La Civiltà Cattolica magazine, and the book has been illustrated by Sheree Boyd who illustrated the Dear Pope Francis book for children published in 2016.
The book launch took place in the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in the presence of Hospital director, Mariella Enoch and Cardinal Luis Tagle, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Introducing the volume, Cardinal Tagle said that “where there are no children, there is no future.”
The book, he said, is “a breath of fresh air” as it is full of images of joy, energy and life. He revealed that it reminds him of his own childhood in the village of Imus in the Philippines, where the family had no television set and where every evening his mother would read simple books to the children.
He noted that in the book the Pope speaks directly to children, choosing simple words that invite them to be generous, to not be afraid to cry, to do good in life, but also to smile and to dance for joy.
“You and I can make the Earth a more beautiful place” and “the best way to win a conflict is not to start it,” are amongst the Pope’s words chosen to make up the text of the volume.
On the very first page Pope Francis says “When I see a child like you, I feel so much hope in my heart”; next to it is a mirror in which the child sees his or her own reflection.
The publishing house, Salani Editore, has described the volume as “a special little book with a universal message to make the world a better place.”