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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Levin the Cat
by Tao Jiu
Age Range: 6-8
If you have a pet, you will know how much pets thrive from having a routine. There is no doubt that the world has changed drastically ever since the pandemic, so pets have had to adjust to different lifestyles. Levin the Cat, in the book Levin the Cat (written by Chinese author Tao Jiu and translated into English by Helen Wang), is a playful cat with a mind of his own. Although he likes being home alone, he can get lonely. Levin’s life changes when his owner Jane cannot come home for a while because she is working in the isolation unit at the hospital. Levin stays home alone, then is taken care of by Daniel, and then moves to a new home at the community centre. Even though Levin’s life changes so much, he comes to terms with reality and realizes that “everyone has to work together until things get better.”
Levin the Cat is part of Cardinal Media’s series called Hopeful Picture Books, showing the pandemic through a child’s eyes. Yang Shanshan’s illustrations demonstrate parts of the pandemic experience, such as FaceTime calls, breaking news reports, and signs about social distancing and wearing masks. No matter how much the images of the world change throughout the story, Levin always remains his same orange striped self.
Catherine Hurwitz (Apr22)