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Catwings: 09/04/11

cover art

Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin was published in 1988. I didn't hear about it or the rest of the series until I was an adult. But the illustrations by S.D. Schindler make me feel nostalgic for the late 1980s. Around the time the book came out I drew a little cat bird sketch... similar to (but nowhere near as cute) as the catwing kittens.

Catwings opens with a simple statement, one that asks the reader to accept the story as is and not expect much in the way of explanation. It says: "Mrs. Jane Tabby could not explain why all four of her children had wings" (p. 1). I am normally a stickler for the reasons behind things but I am perfectly willing to go with the flow if the author is upfront about saying no explanation will be given.

As the book opens, Mrs. Jane Tabby and her kittens live in a bustling city full of condemned buildings. It's a noisy and dangerous place. As the children grow into cats, Jane encourages her children to find a safe place to live, away from humans who might want to hurt them or keep them as novelties. The rest of the book tells how the siblings searched for a new home and how they found it.

Four stars

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Wednesday, September, 7, 2011 at 19:34:15


This was actually my very first le Guin book. I still own it after all of these years. :)

Comment #2: Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 14:50:33


Lefthand of Darkness was my first, I think. I didn't discover her children's books until I was an adult.

Comment #3: Saturday, September, 10, 2011 at 01:16:38

Laura @ Bunny Tales

I love love love this book! I jumped around like I'd won the lottery when I stumbled upon a copy of it at a book sale :)The illustrations just captured me!

Comment #4: Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 14:52:11


It feels great to find a well loved book for sale. The copy I read, though, belongs to the library.

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