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Catwings Paperback – March 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Series: Catwings
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books (March 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590428330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590428330
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,465,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Down an alley in a dumpster, Mrs. Jane Tabby gives birth to four kittens. But these are no ordinary offspringeach has a pair of wings. Although Mrs. Tabby is unperturbed by her kittens' appearance, her neighbors are not so charitable; when the kittens are old enough to fly, Mrs. Tabby sends her children out into the world. Because both winged and four-footed creatures mistrust them, the kittens have trouble finding a place to live, but eventually discover a loving home. LeGuin, author of the distinguished Earthsea Trilogy and other books, has written a small gem of a book, with convincing and intriguing characters. Dark watercolor etchings by Schindler further convey the plight of these airborne felines and their seeking of a home. A Richard Jackson Book. Ages 7-10.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4 At first Mrs. Jane Tabby can't understand why her four kittens have been born with wings. Then she realizes that they will be able to fly away from their dreary and dangerous city neighborhood. (Mrs. T. can't come with them because she is going to marry Mr. Tom Jones, and ``I don't want you children underfoot!'') So the kittens sadly leave their mother and go off into the world. After some mild adventures, they settle in a wooded area and learn to forage for themselves. Then danger appears in the form of a large owl. Luckily at this point Harriet, the smallest kitten, discovers Susan and Hank Brown from a neighboring farm. The tale ends happily with the cats snuggled up to the children and the promise of a safe new home. Cats are always appealing, and winged cats should be doubly so. However, the story barely skirts cuteness; the language has a self-conscious tone which works against the action of the plot. Softly-colored ink drawings add an old-fashioned tone, as do the Victorian names of the cats. Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Pub . Lib .
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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See all 85 customer reviews
This is a very sweet and imaginative story with beautiful illustrations.
Pamela S. Impson
The illustrations are a integral part of this short book and make the book an easy and fun read; as such it is perfect for Primary School-aged readers.
Neil Dewitte
This is a great book the kids in my moms daycare really love having this book read to them each day.
Kelly Pettibone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Skye Ridley on July 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
These are the sweetest, most wonderful books around. I first discovered and fell in love with them when I was around 40, and have kept copies ever since, although I often give them away and have to buy more. I'm 50 now, and I've given the Catwings books as gifts to just as many animal-lover adults as children. They ALL adore the stories.

I find it gratifying that the publisher (or LeGuin?) has kept the price so low. These stories could have been printed in a large, hardback expensive format, and everyone who loves them would have still purchased them. But someone made the very kind decision to keep the price down so that more readers could enjoy, and I appreciate that.

One caveat: parts of the stories might be a little sad or upsetting to very young children...in a "Velveteen Rabbit" sort of way (I cried a little the first time I read the first 2 books)
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ethel Isaacs on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At 57 I read this collection ! Enjoyed it so much even at my age .... Decided to get it for my granddaughter ,she carrying on the love of cats into the next generation ! Happy to say ,she loves the stories in these books . Only upset her when they 1st leave their mama cat .......Highly recommend for children ,especially ones who love cats !!!!!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I' ve read all of the Catwings books, and they're so good! Ever since I read the first one, I got hooked. I'm a very humongous animal lover, and these books were truly purrfect. I used to play Catwings all the time. Because winged cats are truly a fantasy you can't miss. There are colorful pictures too. The stories and their adventures are really heartwarming. If you read the whole series, you'll watch them grow and you'll grow to love them. Full of wonderful words, Catwings are the best!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
Jane Tabby is surprised to find that her 4 kittens all have wings. Living in a rundown part of a city, she comes to realize that with these wings they can escape this life and fly to a better one. The kittens' exploration of the more rural countryside is told in beautiful language, and also with humor. And their meeting and befriending some children results in a touching conclusion. A wonderful story, rich in ideas, creative in language, is OK for kids above age 4 or so, but is even better for slightly older kids; it is also ostensibly a children's book that is equally enjoyable for adults. The 2 sequels thus far are also excellent, though with a touch less magic than this one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Holly Anders on December 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought the first two of these books when I was 6 at the school book fair and read them over and over throughout my childhood. I'm 20 now, have since bought the last two, but still have my originals and, on occasion, read them. They are wonderful books that would be enjoyed by any cat-loving person, and have a unique, but endearing story. At the same time, they are short and simple enough for a child to read by themselves in one sitting without being bored. The illustrations go perfectly with the story and are softly coloured, fine-lined, detailed drawings which add to the charm of the books. Overall, these are an excellant choice for anyone looking for childrens books that have the quality and timelessness of classics like "The Velveteen Rabbit."
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steph on February 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book when I was little, and even today, I still love it! It's a wonderful, charming book, with the cutest illustrations. Although it's directed mostly toward little kids, I think that any cat lover would enjoy this story.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Book Review: Catwings by Ursula K.A. LeGuin
Would you want to be a cat with wings? Catwings is a book about four cats that have wings and they're on their own until two kids deicide to keep them. They stay until they decide to go visit their mother in the old neighborhood. I learned that the little birds in the story were upset that the cats could fly because the cats could eat them. The pictures were great! You might want to read this book and find out what happens. It is a very good book for kids. It has lots of adventure. After you read it you will feel good about something.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By UrbanRube on September 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Such beautiful, simple writing in these books. My six-year-old and I have been reading these together and the sweet simplicity of the prose by Le Guin reminds one how rare truly good writing is. Like a few others mentioned here, my daughter was upset when the kittens left their mother, but each story so far has ended on a happy note, so she seems content. We'll see how books 3 and 4 go--she is on tenterhooks waiting to start reading them, but it's bedtime, so she'll have to wait. A wonderful, well-priced gift.
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