Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Catwings, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Staff Review by Chris Saliba

Ursula Le Guin's story about four 'flying tabbies' is a great fun from the first page to the last. A story about flying kittens, how could it be otherwise? 

Mrs Jane Tabby has four kittens –Thelma, Roger, James and Harriet. She can’t explain why they all have wings. One neighbourhood cat jokes that their father was a ‘fly-by-night’. They all live near a dumpster in a run down inner city neighbourhood. When Mr Tom Jones proposes to Mrs Tabby, she tells her children that they must fly away from the terrible squalor of the neighbourhood and find somewhere better to live. At first they are upset, but then realise that this is always the way in cat families.

The flying tabbies then get up to all sorts of adventures. They settle down in some woods and meet all sorts of new creatures. They also make friends with some humans who help them out in their new life of independence. 

Ursula K. Le Guin is best known for her science fiction novels. This charming little story is just under fifty pages long and is nicely illustrated by S. D. Schindler. There are three other Catwings adventures in the series, this one being the first.

I’ve never read any Ursula K. Le Guin before, but aim to read some of her novels when I get the chance. She is obviously a great cat lover, as she dedicates the story to all the cats she’s loved before! This is a really fun story that I enjoyed very much, and it does makes you wonder, why weren’t cats created with wings? Perhaps because they’d only get up to greater mischief.

Recommended age: 7 upwards

Catwings, by Ursula K. Le Guin. Published by Orchard. ISBN: 9780439551892  $12.95