Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pascual and the Kitchen Angels

Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie DePaola.
When Pascual is born, angels swoop down to sing. “We have a special little boy,” says his Papa. “God must surely love him.”
As Pascual grows, he becomes a shepherd. Pascual and his sheep sing together and they kneel and pray together.
He has a heart for feeding the hungry and helping others, so he tells his parents he wants to be a friar. They send him to the monastery with a generous amount of food, but the friars insist he cook for them.
Pascual doesn’t know the first thing about cooking. He kneels and prays. Here come the kitchen angels! Pascual is busy praying so he doesn’t see the angels God has sent to prepare the meal. The friars are so impressed they want Pascual to cook every night.
Pascual insists he wants to help the friars feed the hungry and the friars refuse him until they spy on him in the kitchen and witness the kitchen angels. From then on, they allow Pascual to fulfill his dream.
Pascual actually is the patron saint of cooks and the kitchen. He is well-loved in Latin America and Spain.
What I Like: Young children can see a clear cause and effect relationship between Pascual and God. When Pascual prays for help in the kitchen, God sends angels! My children loved everything about this book, but especially the cuddly sheep. Pascual hangs flower garlands round their necks, and Pascual and the sheep sing together to praise God. (This produced giggles from my children.) The artwork is beautiful and reminiscent of Italian frescoes.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: Recommended for ages 4-8. My preschoolers enjoyed it, too.
Publisher Info: Puffin; 2006; ISBN 0142405361: Paperback $5.99

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