Blessing of the Beasts


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SKU 22287~SA-9781612615820 Categories , , , ISBN: 9781557255020.

As a young roach, Francesca was warned against churches:

Her mother had told her there was no reason to visit such a place. Churches were disgustingly clean, barren of food, although sometimes you might find leftover rice from weddings under the pews, and they were dangerous.

Francesca and Martin, a skunk, originally met in a trash can awhile back:

He had startled her by rising from the garbage, wearing a cap of coleslaw and a mustache of yogurt.


“Good evening, Miss,” he said, remembering his manners. “My name is Martin. After the saint, Martin de Porres. My mother favored him. His statue was in the garden where we ate, so she named me, her firstborn, after him.”


As the Celebration of Creatures service approaches, Francesca yearns to be there, but Martin warns her against it:


“I don’t think that we are meant to be included, Francesca. It’s for the respectables, the cute and cuddlies. We are outcasts, my dear. They’ll never let us in. Can’t you just hear the humans shrieking as we walk down the aisle? They’d be fainting left and right.”


Francesca and Martin find a creative way into the church—and what a sight they see! Kids and adults alike will treasure this new story about the value of all creatures, and will learn anew that all of creation has value, purpose, and God’s blessing.

Francesca the cockroach and her good friend Martin the skunk, whom she met some time ago in a trash can, live in a soup kitchen on the poor side of town. When three uptown roaches bring word of a blessing of the animals to be held at the cathedral across town, Francesca decides that she and Martin should go. (She was after all, named after Francis the good human, who loved the unlovable). The lowly but determined friends manage to cross town – Francesca in Martin's left ear – and join all manner of creatures great and small for a glorious celebration and blessing. Ethel Pochocki is the author of several previous children's books and is a former librarian at the New York Public Library. Engravings by Barry Moser are almost haunting in their beauty, even – and maybe especially – the ones of the animal outcasts. Both text and pictures are witty and elegant. Readers of any age will be reminded that God's love is for all, even the least of these.  – Congressional Libraries Today

This is such a great story, very clever and imaginative! A skunk and a roach make their way to a blessing of the animals, and of course they have to sneak in. Technically, all animals are welcome, but a skunk and a roach? This story offers children many wonderful lessons, not the least of which is acceptance – Religion Teacher's Journal



Dimensions7.4 × 9.25 in
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