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Catwings Return


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About the Author

Ursula Le Guin writes both poetry and prose, and in various modes including children's books, YA books, fantasy, science fiction and fiction. She is the author of the bestselling and award winning CATWINGS series. Three of Le Guin's titles have been finalists for The American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and among the many honors her writing has received are a National Book Award, five Hugo Awards, five Nebula Awards, and The Margaret A. Edwards Award. She lives in Oregon.


Identical in format and length to its predecessor, Catwings , this new book picks up where that one left off. The four winged catsThelma, Roger, Harriet and Jamesare content in the country barn where they live, secretly cared for by humans Hank and Susan. But they would like to see their mother, and the dumpster where they were born. Only James and Harriet make the trip, and learn that the slums are being destroyed by demolition crews. Their mother and the dumpster have moved; instead, they find a winged kitten. After a brief reunion with their mother, who now lives amidst flower pots on an apartment roof, all three felines go to the farm. Some of this repeats the first book, such as the absence of a father, the mother who bravely, and perhaps somewhat curiously, sends the children away to a better life, and the rather dull goodness of the human boy and girl. Le Guin's graceful writingespecially of the adventurous rescue of the new member of the family and in the roof sceneis sweetly illuminated by Schindler's delicately tinted drawings. A Richard Jackson Book. Ages 7-10. (Mar.)

Gr 2-4-- James and Harriet, the youngest and most adventurous of four winged cats, return from the country refuge that they found in Catwings (Orchard, 1988) to the inner-city slum where they were born, to see their mother again. They find a frightened winged kitten before finding their mother, the genteel Mrs. Jane Tabby. She is delighted to see her grown children and grateful that they've brought back her lost kitten. She insists that they take the kitten to safety in the country. This may grate on those who criticized as unfeeling Mrs. Jane's decision, in the first book, to send her older children off to a new life so that she could begin a new liaison unfettered, but it seems in character. Although characterization is slight, there is enough to win readers' sympathy. This gently appealing story will mean more to those who enjoyed the more vigorous first book, but it is hard to resist a story that brings a terrified, lonely kitten home to a loving family. The illustrations are engaging pen-and-ink drawings with watercolor wash. A handsome little book for middle readers. --Marilyn Iarusso, New York Public Library

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