Monday, September 28, 2009
The Cat Who Went to Heaven
Finished The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth. It won the Newbery Medal in 1931. It is the story of a Japanese painter whose housekeeper brings home a cat from the market instead of food. At first the painter is skeptical, cats are demonic, but after observing the behavior of the cat he changes his mind. The painter is commissioned to paint a mural for the temple of the death of Buddha. The painter imagines himself as Buddha and as each of the animals that Buddha welcomes to Nirvana. The descriptions of each animal are interesting and compassionately written. The cat is the one animal that was not welcomed, but this seems to change by the end of the book. I don't usually enjoy books that are religiously based, but this book is special. "One of the thirty 20th-century children's books every adult should know."--The Horn Book. Unfortunately I cannot seem to locate that list itself.
Posted by atleast at Monday, September 28, 2009