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The Cats of Tanglewood Forest Hardcover – March 5, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-After 12-year-old Lillian Kindred is bitten by a venomous snake while playing in the woods around the remote farm where she lives with her aunt, the wild cats of the forest put her spirit into the body of a cat rather than let her die. However, when Lillian asks Old Mother Possum to change her back to a girl, her aunt dies from a snake bite instead. A sense of wrongness with this event sets in motion a journey first to the ancient and mystical Aunt Nancy of the Creek tribe and then to the Bear People, for whom Lillian works as a servant in return for an answer to her dilemma. This is a pleasant tale that meanders and takes its time, with many leisurely chats between Lillian and various animals, magical and otherwise, but not much action. There are no big epiphanies or momentous events; readers will feel satisfied when things work out for Lillian in the end, but it's not clear what point her adventures have or how everything hangs together. While well suited as a charming read-aloud for a younger child, this quiet, nature-rich fantasy might require some patience from older readers. The pencil and colored ink illustrations are lush and evocative, though the renderings of human characters are somewhat stiff.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this expanded version of A Circle of Cats (2003), 12-year-old orphan Lillian is bitten by a snake, but she is spared death when the cats of Tanglewood Forest turn her into a kitten. Old Mother Possum takes her back in time to return her to human shape, but this time Lillian’s aunt succumbs to the snake. Realizing that her choices bring unintended consequences, Lillian begins a quest to revisit her decisions, with the goal of saving her aunt, and her kindness toward others (as well as her cleverness) eventually does just that. Set in a magical forest populated by Bear People, an Apple Tree Man, and the Father of Cats, the story’s lyrical, folkloric style is well suited to a tale of magic and mystery. Vess’ line-and-watercolor illustrations (not seen in final form) appear throughout; they help to break up the text for younger readers and give form to de Lint’s unusual characters. Give this to fans of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black’s Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World around You (2005). Grades 3-6. --Kay Weisman
Top customer reviews
The illustrations- and the quality of the book production as a whole- is amazing. It is a gorgeous book, and will make a wonderful gift for the right kids.
The actual cats are not quite as involved in the plot as I'd hoped they would be; they set it into motion, but then beg out for the most part. However, the other people- human and not- certainly make up for it; I adored Mr. Fox.
Highly recommended! for kids- or adults who love a good tale, and gorgeous art.
The book tells the story of Lillian, a young girl who likes to roam in the forest. One day, she's bitten by a snake. The cats save her by turning her into a kitten. Then it's up to Lillian to make a journey to find the Possum Woman to get turned back to a human girl. Charles de Lint's writing is as engaging as ever, and Charles Vess' illustrations complement the text perfectly.
You'll also want to read the sequel, "Seven Wild Sisters," also by de Lint and illustrated by Vess. The sequel, fortunately, was released just before FaerieCon West, so I was able to get both books signed by both Charleses.
While both books are available for the Kindle, I highly recommend getting the old-fashioned hardcover editions. I love ebooks, but these books were made for paper. Besides, if you should happen to run into either or both Charleses, how can they sign an ebook?
already have my eye on the next Charles de Lint book. I have used the feedback of other readers for recommended age groups as not all his books sound like they are for children.
Most recent customer reviews
Lillian lives with her aunt on a farm near a magical wood called the Tanglewood Forest.Read more