What would it be like to have your letter answered by Pope Francis? That is what many children from all over the world got to experience in this book. There were 259 letters received from 26 countries and 30 of those letters were picked and answered by the Pope himself.
Dear Pope Francis is an excellent book of letters written by children, age six to thirteen, in six different continents. The questions although practical, are clear, and straight-forward. The pictures that are drawn by each child are beautiful and honest. This tremendously colorful book is a children’s book but as I read through it, I found that it is a wonderful read for adults as well. As an adult, we don’t always think to ask those practical questions like children often do, so it is wonderful to see that Pope Francis joyfully answers those questions as well. These children ask a variety of questions, some are cute and funny like this one, “Dear Pope Francis, When you were a child, did you like dancing?”, and some are much more serious such as, “Dear Pope Francis, Why are lots of people so poor and have no food? Can God give the poor people some food like he fed the 5,000 people?” Pope Francis does an excellent job of answering each one of these questions with love and care. He often recognized the child’s artwork in his answer. I’m sure that the children felt highly honored to get a letter from the Pope. His recognition and reflection of their artwork is inspiring and humbling.
All thirty letters were scanned into the book, so the readers can see a photo of the child, the drawing the child made, and the care they put into their writing. Each letter is written in the child’s native tongue and then translated to English for us to read. I could feel the love and concern that the children have for their family, country, and peers. I could also feel the hope that Pope Francis has for these children in his answers to their questions. Dear Pope Francis is a wonderful book for all children because it encourages them to be the change in the world through hope, prayer, and good deeds.