The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Argentina

La jaula

(The cage)

Machado, Germán (text)
Varela, Cecilia (illus.)
Buenos Aires: Calibroscopio, [2018]. – [32] p.
ISBN 978-987-3967-26-9

Pet  | Responsibility  | Ethics  | Freedom  | Death  | Picture book

Reading age: 5+

White Ravens issue: 2019


Many children long for a pet, and so it is with the little boy in this story – he wants a hamster. Pleeease! His parents are against it – one must take care of pets, and, anyway, they are not made for a life in captivity. His grandfather is the one to ultimately fulfil the boy’s wish. The fuzzy animal isn’t flourishing, however, and is not nearly as happy as the delighted child. One day, the boy finds the hamster dead in its cage. The boy feels great pain and grief, yet these also make him reflect. In the end, the boy has his father dig two holes in the garden: a little one for his beloved hamster, a big one for the cage. Using careful, straightforward language and insightful, easily comprehensible pictures, this book reveals the dilemma at the heart of caring for animals. The child’s changing emotional landscape – longing, joy, grief, and determination – are clearly brought to light, as are the topics of freedom and duty to others.