As a young roach, Francesca was warned against churches. They 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’d startled her by rising from the garbage, wearing a cap of coleslaw and a mustache of yogurt. 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. 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.” Kids and adults alike treasure this story about the value of all creatures and how all of creation has value, purpose, and God’s blessing.
Ethel Pochocki is the author of several other books for children and adults, including Once Upon a Time Saints.
Barry Moser is one of the most acclaimed illustrators alive today.