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(Catwings #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  7,691 ratings  ·  746 reviews
The bestselling Catwings series!

Mrs. Jane Tabby can't explain why her four precious kittens were born with wings, but she's grateful that they are able to use their flying skills to soar away from the dangerous city slums where they were born. However, once the kittens escape the big city, they learn that country life can be just as difficult!
Paperback, 40 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Orchard Books (first published 1988)
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Jeremy Dean Absolutely in terms of content. The final book in the series is the only one that deals with more serious, somewhat scary themes.
Dewey by Vicki MyronThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotAlice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollA Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
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Dewey by Vicki MyronHomer's Odyssey by Gwen CooperThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussInto the Wild by Erin HunterOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Muhtasin Oyshik
Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin

A sweet short book for juvenile readers about a litter of flying kittens. The author told the story as if cats with wings are the most natural thing one would expect. A pleasant story. It's short enough to keep the attention of very small children and has a happy ending and unobtrusively teaches positive values.
The fish in the creek said nothing. Fish never do. Few people know what fish think about injustice, or anything else.

Sweet story
Robin Hobb
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this aloud to my six year old grand daughter.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say it's about a litter of kittens born with wings.

Danica's reaction to the book was, "I really want to be in that book." And she played 'flying kitten' all day, collecting feathers from my moulting chickens and zooming about the acreage with them in her outstretched hands.

A perfect book for her. We have the three sequels, and I expect a similar wonderful reaction from her.
Hannah Greendale
Catwings is a heartwarming coming-of-age, but contemporary issues and symbolism simmer beneath the surface for those willing to paw their way to greater meaning. In just forty-eight pages, Le Guin's memorable tale of four winged-kittens explores marginalized communities, race, and compassion.
Mrs. Jane Tabby could not explain why all four of her children had wings.

"I suppose their father was a fly-by-night," a neighbor said, and laughed unpleasantly, sneaking round the dumpster.

"Maybe they h
J.L.   Sutton
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'd read the Earthsea Series (and a few other of Le Guin's books) in high school, but Catwings wasn't on my radar. Le Guin creates a sense of wonder here; there is something very simplistic and charming about this short tale of a litter of kittens born with wings. What's a mother to do? How do other animals react when it's time for the kittens to (stretch their wings and) leave home? What is astonishing about Le Guin is that she creates so many memorable stories that don't seem to have anything ...more
Ashley Marie
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, i-own-it
Adorable little book. The thing I love about children's books (and by extension, a lot of MG stories) is that they don't tend to spend as much time as YA or adult stories explaining themselves. Like, the kittens were born with wings. How? Who cares? Moving on. And I think that's incredibly important, because the how or the why isn't the point of the story. ...more
Rachel Bea
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book/series so much when I was a child that as an adult I got a tattoo of one of the illustrations. :)
Jul 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Cute purry cats with wings and Ursula Le Guin -- back in 1988, this combination did not really work for me. I was too much in awe of Leguin's mind-expanding stories and her rich humane wisdom to feel comfortable with her as the writer of what is, quite frankly, a rather simplistic children's book.

Parenthood changes many things. I've now found that its very simplicity makes this an excellent read aloud book. True it's not particularly deep, but the fineness of the prose shines through if you give
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fantasy, kidsbooks
It's no secret that I love Ursula K. Le Guin. I decided to read everything by her, so I got these kids books, the Catwings series. This is the first. They have the same solid reality and aching sense of longing that many of her fantasies for adult readers give. These would make a great introduction for any child to UKL's work, but are jewels of great beauty for grown-ups to cherish as well. The idea of cats with wings is so perfect. It just rings true, for some reason. UKL's books always have a ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
It's a book about cats. With wings. By Ursula Le Guin. Of course I loved it even if I'm about 24 years older than its target audience. ...more
Oh don't mind me I'll just be over here sobbing over the wholesome story of four flying cats being adopted by adorable children written by the grandmother of science fiction and fantasy Ursula K. Le Guin and the fact that my kids want to read "more cat stories." ...more
Oct 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone but especially Christine, Mary
Shelves: childrens
I read this series of short books aloud to my daughter when she was in the first grade. We both were mesmerized by this sweet and subtly deep story about a litter of cats born with wings. There is no magic in these books, and yet they are pure magic. Definitely recommended, and they really kept my attention as well. Subtle lessons about compassion and how different people react to others with unusual traits.
Caro the Helmet Lady
This cute little story is all about cats. The Winged Cats. What's not to love? <3 ...more
The first in the series of these early reader books which seem to those 'first chapter' books. The story was quick to read and Schindler's illustrations were absolutely gorgeous. As always, the reader is treated to some wonderful prose by Le Guin and it would be wrong to deny the children reader a chance to explore and enjoy the author's utterly wonderful mastery of word and wisdom. Plus, it has flying cats. ...more
Dec 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Catwings is a sweet little book. I like pretty much everything Ursula Le Guin writes, so it's not surprising that I like her fiction for young children, too. It seems like it'd be pretty good to read aloud, but there are also lovely pictures.

And cats! With wings! Having adventures!
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yeah, there's no way in the real world that a litter of kittens is going to be born with four normal limbs and two wings; genetics don't work that way. But, a story about kittens with wings? Awesome. Reality can take a nap.

Library copy
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, childrens
Four winged kittens set out to find a better place to live than the city. But country life has its challenges, too. Charming illustrations, a storyteller who tells the truth “slant” as Emily Dickinson said, some humor, and a happy ending made a delightful, fabulous story.
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Now I need more Catwings series in my life.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Cute illustrations, good writing...but a bit too short and lightweight for my tastes.
Timothy Phin
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When we heard that Ursula K Le Guin had died, we could only console ourselves by reading her works. With me that meant picking up Earthsea and its sequels, but we wanted our lads, still a bit tender for those tales, to also share in the glorious words of this phenomenal author. Catwings it was. Pulled from the shelf, we're introducing our small folk to Le Guin's canny, insightful writing. I suggest, if you have small folk, or if you just love cats, that you make the same choice. ...more
Maggie K
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
My daughter brought this home from school, and when I saw who the author was, I was delighted to sit and read this with her. My daughter was equally impressed when I showed her a couple of my books with the same author name upon them.
We sat down and had a great reading session together, and I am now a little more impressed with her school!
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm just glad my fat cats can't fly. ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was small and remembered it as being super adorable. Small me was so right. But small me didn't appreciate the WONDERFUL cattish illustrations. Come on, small me! ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read this children’s illustrated series several years ago. My inner child was delighted. Cats with wings. Cats that can and do fly! By Ursula K. Leguin! What’s not to like?! 😸
Ruthie Jones
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book
Holy Cats, this teeny tiny story is absolutely adorable!

On the surface, this tale is about four sibling cats (born with wings, mind you), who are encouraged by their mother to fly away from the bad neighborhood of their birth and seek a new and safe place to live. The cats do just that, and they encounter danger along the way before finally discovering a couple of human children in the country who mean them no harm.

Just below the surface, however, is a story about acceptance in a world where bei
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, series
I read this children's book a few days ago just because it was by Ursula K. Le Guin -- I'm a big fan of exposing kids to fine writing. It seemed like a good book to read to a child, nicely written but nothing spectacular. However, I find that the book keeps coming to mind. There are a number of issues raised (pros and cons of being different, adjusting to new situations, accepting inevitabilities, deciding whom to trust, supporting family members) in ways that would be appealing to children and ...more
Another perfect little modern fable for bedtime stories. This time the subject is a group of cats born with wings. Sweet and charming, Le Guin is real master at this type of storytelling. The art is delightful as well, and very evocative of early 2oth century children's literature. There's a lot of complex social concepts presented for children in a context that makes them readily digestible. Le Guin is (sorry, it's still so recent) ... was a genius. ...more
I saw this book at the library and was immediately reminded of my childhood. A nostalgic feeling, for sure, rereading it. What a sweet book that is perfectly astute: "Mother always said that if you found the right kind of Hands, you'd never have to hunt again. But if you found the wrong kind, it would be worse than dogs". Isn't that a perfect summary of all humankind, in a way? ...more
Serethiel Sequoia
This was a rather sweet story. The ending was lovely. ^_^
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first Ursula Le Guin book I ever read and still my favourite ...
Michael Campbell
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A cute little book with charming illustrations.
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Silver Stag Book ...: S04 E13 - Catwings by Ursula Le Guin 1 3 Aug 01, 2017 12:34PM  

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Ursula K. Le Guin published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. She lived in Portland, Orego ...more

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Catwings (4 books)
  • Catwings Return (Catwings, #2)
  • Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings (Catwings, #3)
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