The Travelling Cat Chronicles is precisely the chronicles of a cat who travels with his companion (or owner, whatever you prefer) ostensibly to find a new home for the cat but the journey is, in actuality, a farewell in the most final sense of the word to people and places befriended and experienced. Yes, I am the queen of long sentences but hopefully that one made sense.
The novel is told, mostly, from the viewpoint of the cat, Nana, whose perspective is simple, blunt, and profound for these very reasons. Giving the prose some texture and depth are the flashbacks or memories that crop up every time Nana’s companion/owner meets a friend.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles tells a story of friendship between a cat and his person, love between friends, and just love in general. The relationships spoken of and illustrated in this novel are complex with layers and flavours akin to real life. The reader (in this case me) senses very early on that there is more to the journey than Satoru divulges. There is a sense of an end, a poignancy to his actions, that he cannot quite hide. Nana senses it but does not explicitly state it unless someone else does. But this end is not the story. Their friendship is.
The story is profound and easy to read. It is not tragic, perhaps because as a cat Nana has very different reactions towards what humans label tragedy. It is beautiful though and infused with the kind of hope that all good stories are. I recommend it.
Anne Carson and Bianca Stone’s Antigonick, from the play by Sophocles (Antigone, of the Oedipus triptych). Where to begin? If you read only one classical Greek play in your life, let this be it. Carson’s translation is a whirlwind, both a terror and a delight to behold. It will sway you to fall in love with poetry […]
We’ve got a display area in the children’s section of our library that we switch up every month to showcase different items in our collection. Since May is Asian Heritage Month here in Canada, we’ve been filling our display with books by Asian authors and illustrators from around the world. In no particular order, here […]
Sappho. The most famous woman poet of all time (so far), and yet remarkably under-read. Time to fix that. Anne Carson’s translation, published as If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho was irresistible merely from its premise: Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos from about 630 B.C. She was a musical genius who devoted her life […]
Bear waits for his friend Goliath for a long time, even when others doubt he’ll show up. This is a warm and surprising story about waiting for a friend whose identity is a surprise! What a simple, gentle, lovely book! Bear is waiting for his best friend Goliath, who is strong and smart and smells […]
1. I Need You More Than I Love You and I Love You To Bits by Gunnar Ardelius, Tara Chace (Translator) Hardcover, 118 pages Published November 1st 2008 by Front Street When Morris meets Betty, love is unavoidable. In short prose passages, we follow the course of their passionate first love. A confident debut written […]
Leah CL’s mother used to say the world could end around her while she was reading and she wouldn’t even notice. She loves children’s lit, particularly middle grade fiction, and is sure she’ll get around to writing her own…one of these days. Leah has a degree in journalism and a degree in music, so logically […]
All the Dear Little Animals Death is rarely a popular conversation topic for polite society, at least not in Western society. We don’t even like to utter the word death, preferring instead kinder, gentler euphemisms like passing away, going to a better place and moving on. The general societal consensus seems to be that by denying the existence […]
Hardcover, 176 pages Published May 31st 2005 by HarperCollins Source: Library It is not every day that a book makes me cry. Just…every other day. Just kidding. I actually have a cold heart so being emotional while reading is not a normal occurrence for me. However, The Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes […]
Hardcover, 38 pages Published August 1st 2016 by Gecko Press Source: Library This title was originally published in German and translated (very wonderfully I might add) into English by Catherine Chidgey. This little picturebook is one I would give to anyone who said children’s literature is simple and easy to write. I would rub this […]