Karol from Poland – The Life of Pope John Paul II for Children written by M. Leonora Wilson is just what the title says. A biography of a boy named Karol from Poland who grew up to become Pope John Paul II. This story for young children begins with Karol’s early years learning about God from his mother. These pages seem to be trying to teach the reader the same things Karol’s mother taught him. This part of the book can be a wonderful opportunity to teach further and reinforce these same things to your young listeners. Things such as – God’s love for us, praying to God, God’s mother Mary, heaven, God’s house, and the tabernacle. Then the reader follows Karol through his school years. He is well liked and works hard. Later comes the hardships of family deaths and war. Poland would not be the same. Karol’s decision to become a priest is in jeopardy, but God protects him throughout this terrible time. The sections about World War II in Poland are nicely done and simply explained for young ones. With the war over and his studies complete, Karol is ordained a priest. The story quickly follows him from priest to bishop, bishop to cardinal, and finally cardinal to pope. The book includes the day he was shot and the forgiveness he shows to the shooter. Again, another great chance for further discussion on forgiving. The reader learns a little about Karol as pope – mainly that he was a great missionary traveling all over the world visiting many countries. To conclude the story, Pope John Paul II sadly dies, but we are reassured because he is now happy with God in heaven.
This is a wonderful illustrated picture book for young children. Each page layout includes a colorful picture on one side with large print writing on the other. It is simply written and easy to follow for little ones. Again this book nicely provides the teacher or parent many occasions for further religious education. The election of the pope was understandable as it nicely explained the conclave. Adults alike will enjoy reading about the pope they remember while learning about his early life they never knew. This book is not only a biography of a pope but, most importantly, a wonderful person who children and adults can look up to.
I received a copy of the book for this review from Pauline Books and Media. You can find more information on the book at their website located here.