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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)
Empty Bowl (The)
by Ai Wener and Xi Huo
Age Range: 6-8
Picture this: you’re a dog living on the streets without a home, but you’re happy because people come by and pay attention to you, giving you food each day. Suddenly, fewer and fewer people come by, and you have less and less food. In fact, there are hardly any people out on the streets, and stores are no longer open. How would you feel? This is exactly the situation that the dog in the book The Empty Bowl has to endure.
The Empty Bowl is part of Cardinal Media’s series called Hopeful Picture Books, showing the pandemic through a child’s eyes. Written by Ai Wener and Xi Huo in Chinese and translated by Helen Wang into English, this is a story about a dog’s isolation because of the onset of the pandemic.
Illustrator Xing Huo makes the golden dog fluffy and adorable so that the reader has no choice but to root for the dog’s safety. Luckily, a little girl who had always come by to feed the dog can take him home, because her parents are away from home helping people during the pandemic. If you were the dog in this situation, would you feel at peace because of the kindness of the little girl?
Catherine Hurwitz (June22)