As Pope Benedict celebrates his 82nd birthday today, a new children's book called “Max and Benedict” has been published in Italian and German. The book tells the story of Pope Benedict XVI’s life through the eyes of Max the sparrow, who lives in St. Peter's Square.
The author of the book, Jeanne Perego, also wrote “Joseph and the Boy” two years ago, in which a cat—the Pope’s favorite pet—recounted the life of Joseph Ratzinger from his childhood to his election as Pontiff.
A writer and journalist who splits her time between Italy and the German region of Bavaria, Perego’s new book features a sparrow who lives in St. Peter’s Square and tells visitors what Pope Benedict XVI’s life is like.
The new book begins with an introduction of the main character: “I’m Max, a lonely sparrow, a blue bird who likes to live where it is cold.”
Max, who has taken his name from the abbreviations that crown the Vatican basilica (“Pont. Max,” or Supreme Pontiff), responds to the questions of curious visitors to St. Peter’s and explains the Holy Father’s life of service to the Church.