Ambrose the Mouse wants to be special. He also has a strong desire to help people -- even if that means enduring endless teasing by his mouse cousins.
In the latest adventure chronicled in "Ambrose and the Cathedral Dream" (Liturgical Press, $16.95), author Margo Sorenson has the mouse seeking a way he can help William the Master Builder "find his dream." William is overseeing construction of a new cathedral.
Since Ambrose spends more time daydreaming rather than practicing his family's work of keeping laborers awake so they continue construction on the cathedral, he decides to help the builder.
Emma, Ambrose's cousin, who was his cohort in Sorenson's first mouse book "Ambrose and the Princess" (Liturgical Press, $16.95), which was released last year, encourages the mouse when he needs it and defends him to her other cousins.
In the Am-brose series, Katalin Szegedi beautifully illustrates the tale. She also illustrated the awarding-winning Catholic children's book "The Weight of a Mass: A Tale of Faith" (Gingerbread Press, $17.95).
In the Ambrose books, readers follow the clumsy, daydreaming mouse as he tries to show his family, led by wisdom-sharing grandparents, that he can share in the family traditions of Christmas Mass ("Princess") and building the church ("Cathedral").
They are entertaining stories illustrated with rich color and detail and convey important moral messages of perseverance, faith and encouragement. Written for children ages 4 to 10, these books would make charming and inspirational Christmas gifts for any child, young or old.
Joyce Duriga is associate editor of Our Sunday Visitor.