Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings (Catwings Series #3)

Overview

In the third Catwings book, cocky young Alexander Furby leaves his comfortable home to venture out into the big world one winter day--and gets stuck in a tree until Jane and her four catwing siblings help the kitten find a new home. "This (series) will appeal to early chapter-book readers . . . and cat lovers in general."--School Library Journal. Full color.

After being rescued by a flying cat, Alexander the cat decides to make good...

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Overview

In the third Catwings book, cocky young Alexander Furby leaves his comfortable home to venture out into the big world one winter day--and gets stuck in a tree until Jane and her four catwing siblings help the kitten find a new home. "This (series) will appeal to early chapter-book readers . . . and cat lovers in general."--School Library Journal. Full color.

After being rescued by a flying cat, Alexander the cat decides to make good on a promise to do wonderful things.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Alexander Furby is a wonderful kitten, afraid of nothing. One day he goes exploring, and wanders a little too far. He ends up stuck in a tree, finally afraid. Eventually he is rescued by Jane, one of the Catwings. The Catwings are fantastic creatures, all cat except they can fly like birds. Alexander doesn't know the way to his house, so he joins the Catwings in their home. Eventually he repays Jane's kindness in rescuing him by helping her to overcome a long-held fear of her own. The happy endings multiply when Alexander is reunited with his family. This third installment in the Catwings series easily stands alone. The charming tone and detailed drawings are reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, as is the small size of the book.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-The third installment in the saga introduces a kitten whose family thinks he is so remarkable that they call him "Wonderful Alexander.'' One morning, he sets out to explore the world. But soon he finds himself stuck in a tree, and is rescued by Jane, a black kitten with wings. She leads him to her home, and there he meets the other Catwings. His rescuer can only say the words ``Me'' and, when she's frightened, ``Hate.'' (Readers of Catwings Return [Orchard, 1989] will recall that she had a terrifying experience that left her mute.) Alexander is adopted by the Catwings' human caretaker and finds himself mulling over how to thank Jane for bringing him his good fortune. When he helps her overcome her fear of speaking, all agree that he is truly wonderful. Alexander's appearance in this charming series does more than tie up the loose threads of Jane's muteness; it also sets the stage for further adventures. The story is illustrated with delicate pen-and-ink drawings colored in soft, earth-tone washes. This pocket-sized title will appeal to early chapter-book readers, fans of the earlier books, and cat lovers in general.
Mary Jo Drungil, Niles Public Library District, IL
Carolyn Phelan
The third book in the Catwings series features a pampered but adventurous kitten named Alexander who leaves his comfortable home to explore the world. He's soon cold, frightened, and lost in a forest, until Jane, one of the flying cats, rescues him. In gratitude, he later helps Jane regain her speech by encouraging and even bullying her into talking about a traumatic experience in her youth. Although the writing is clear and fluid, the story is less satisfying than earlier Catwings books. Perhaps it's easier to accept a cat who's part bird than a cat who's part psychoanalyst. Still, this sequel has a place in libraries, where the earlier books have a following. S. D. Schindler's delicate ink-and-watercolor artwork continues its old enchantment, giving convincing form to the flying cats and grave beauty to the fantasy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531087015
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Series: Catwings Series , #3
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.33 (h) x 0.39 (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.

Biography

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:

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