Catwings Return (Catwings Series #2)

( 5 )


As kittens, James, Thelma, Harriet and Roger took advantage of their wings by flying away from the city slum where they were born. Now the cats live comfortably in the country with two human friends. But a big adventure is in store for James and Harriet when they decide to return to the city to visit their mother.

So much has changed! All of the buildings in their old alley are being torn down. And inside one of the buildings is a wonderful ...

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As kittens, James, Thelma, Harriet and Roger took advantage of their wings by flying away from the city slum where they were born. Now the cats live comfortably in the country with two human friends. But a big adventure is in store for James and Harriet when they decide to return to the city to visit their mother.

So much has changed! All of the buildings in their old alley are being torn down. And inside one of the buildings is a wonderful surprise just waiting to be discovered....

Wishing to visit their mother, two winged cats leave their new country home to return to the city, where they discover a winged kitten in a building about to be demolished.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.
Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
This paperback edition is a reprint of the 1989 Catwings Return, which is "A Catwings Tale." The four catwings are enjoying their life in the country. However, two of the catwings decide to go back to the city to try and find their mother (so that the mother cat will know that they survived and are happy). While there, sister Harriet and brother James soon find a lost kitten—who also has wings. This brother and sister duo must now find their mother and take care of this lost little kitten that is cold, hungry, and scared. This fanciful tale will once again delight readers. The text is broken up into multiple chapters. Each sentence is simple enough to tempt beginning readers, yet interesting. The text is also peppered with illustrations that will delight readers with every new page. This reprint will once again delight early chapter readers and introduce them to the whimsical world created by Ursula K. LeGuin.
School Library Journal
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439551908
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/2/2003
  • Series: Catwings, #2
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 153,438
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 7.06 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Ursula K.  Le Guin

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.


Speculative fiction, magic realism, "slipstream" fiction -- all these terms could apply to the works of Ursula K. Le Guin. Unfortunately, none was in common use when she started writing in the early 1960s. As a young writer, Le Guin weathered seven years of rejections from editors who praised her novels' elegant prose but were puzzled by their content. At a time when the only literary fiction was realistic fiction, as Le Guin later told an interviewer for The Register-Guard in Portland, Oregon, "There just wasn't a pigeonhole for what I write."

At long last, two of her stories were accepted for publication, one at a literary journal and one at a science-fiction magazine. The literary journal paid her in copies of the journal; the science-fiction magazine paid $30. She told The Register-Guard, "I thought: 'Oooohhh! They'll call what I write science fiction, will they? And they'll pay me for it? Well, here we go!' "

Le Guin continued to write and publish stories, but her breakthrough success came with the publication of The Left Hand of Darkness in 1969. The novel, which tells of a human ambassador's encounters with the gender-changing inhabitants of a distant planet, was unusual for science fiction in that it owed more to anthropology and sociology than to the hard sciences of physics or biology. The book was lauded for its intellectual and psychological depth, as well as for its fascinating premise. "What got to me was the quality of the story-telling," wrote Frank Herbert, the author of Dune. "She's taken the mythology, psychology -- the entire creative surround -- and woven it into a jewel of a story."

Since then, Le Guin has published many novels, several volumes of short stories, and numerous poems, essays, translations, and children's books. She's won an arm's-length list of awards, including both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, and a National Book Award for The Farthest Shore. Over the years, she has created and sustained two fictional universes, populating each with dozens of characters and stories. The first universe, Ekumen, more or less fits into the science-fiction mode, with its aliens and interplanetary travel; the second, Earthsea, is a fantasy world, complete with wizards and dragons. As Margaret Atwood wrote in The New York Review of Books, "Either one would have been sufficient to establish Le Guin's reputation as a mistress of its genre; both together make one suspect that the writer has the benefit of arcane drugs or creative double-jointedness or ambidexterity."

More impressive still is the way Le Guin's books have garnered such tremendous crossover appeal. Unlike many writers of science fiction, she is regularly reviewed in mainstream publications, where her work has been praised by the likes of John Updike and Harold Bloom. But then, Le Guin has never fit comfortably into a single genre. As she said in a Science Fiction Weekly interview, "I know that I'm always called 'the sci-fi writer.' Everybody wants to stick me into that one box, while I really live in several boxes. It's probably hurt the sales of my realistic books like Searoad, because it tended to get stuck into science fiction, where browsing readers that didn't read science fiction would never see it."

Le Guin has also published a translation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, a book that has influenced her life and writing since she was a teenager; she has translated fiction by Angelica Gorodischer and a volume of poems by Gabriela Mistral; and, perhaps most gratifyingly for her fans, she has returned to the imaginary realm of Earthsea. Tehanu, which appeared in 1990, was subtitled "The Last Book of Earthsea," but Le Guin found she had more to tell, and she continued with Tales from Earthsea and The Other Wind. "I thought after 'Tehanu' the story was finished, but I was wrong," she told Salon interviewer Faith L. Justice. "I've learned never to say 'never.' "

Good To Know

The "K" in Ursula K. Le Guin stands for Le Guin's maiden name, Kroeber. Her father was the anthropologist Alfred Kroeber; her mother, the writer Theodora Kroeber, is best known for the biography Ishi in Two Worlds.

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    1. Hometown:
      Portland, Oregon
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 21, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      Berkeley, California
    1. Education:
      B.A., Radcliffe College; M.A., Columbia University, 1952
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Cute and easy read

    Wonderful sequel to follow the first book. Wish the books were a bit longer but a very enjoyable read and touching story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2001


    I first read this story as a little girl. This is a wonderful story for anyone who loves cats and fantasy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Sequel! Wonderful continuation of the story, with sur

    Excellent Sequel!

    Wonderful continuation of the story, with surprises!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    A reviewer

    2 of the catwings go exploring for their mother, Mrs. Jane Tabby. But when the catwings get to the city, a bisg surprise awits them. Read the book to find out more!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2001

    Wings give cats and dreams a chance to soar!

    I read this book when I was five! And now I read them to my stepson! A must own for any cat lover who sees the cat as something 'magical'!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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