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The Cats of Tanglewood Forest

(Newford #18)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,126 ratings  ·  393 reviews
Lillian Kindred spends her days exploring the Tanglewood Forest, a magical rolling wilderness, that she imagines to be full of fairies. The trouble is, Lillian has never seen a wisp of magic in her hills-until the day the cats of the forest save her life by transforming her into a kitten. Now Lillian must set out on a perilous adventure that will lead her through untamed l ...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published March 2013)
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Misty Finch-Kiezie It is apart of a series and the next book is called Seven Wild Sisters. It is also the last book :(

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  2,126 ratings  ·  393 reviews

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Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
"…it might seem like a terrible thing to be trapped in a kitten's body, but there are worse fates"

 photo IMG_7143_zpszp8exy5t.jpg

 photo IMG_7190_zpsefjp2p4w.jpg s you can see in the comments below the review, [name redacted] very politely asked me to read this book, so i did.

 photo IMG_7196_zpsgb1ojmw9.jpg 've never read anything else by de lint, and even though this is technically part of his sprawling newford series, my understanding of how that series rolls is that it's not necessary to read them all, or read them all in order; like the brilliant donald harington's stay mor
Tony DiTerlizzi
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was delighted by Charles de Lint's timeless tangled tale of magic and consequence, beautifully illuminated with the lush illustrations of Charles Vess. This is my new favorite feline folktale. ...more
Mairéad (is roaming the Undying Lands)
{February 28th, 2015} MINI REVIEW

3 stars.

I've read Charles de Lint before, and was fascinated by his stories -- this one felt like a bizarre tale you'd hear from a friend of a friend of mine via fairytale styled.

Now that's not an entirely bad thing in my opinion. I just went into reading it with a certain mindset and was surprised with how it began, then it unfortunately hit a point where I thought it just made a fool of itself. (view spoiler)
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A copy of The Cats of Tanglewood Forest was provided to me by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for review purposes.

"Everything is a lesson if you're willing to learn something from it."

Twelve year old Lillian is an adventurous little girl who traverses the Tanglewood forest searching for fairies that she's convinced exist. After she's tragically bitten by a snake and dies, she hovers above her body long enough to witness the ring of cats that has surrounded her. Next thing she knows, she's
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
If it were just the writing, this would be an easy four stars. It's a great story and just the sort that I love (plucky orphaned girl swept up into a fairy tale), but Charles de Lint's made up Indian tribe (the Kickaha) kind of makes my skin crawl with their patent falseness. I know he's doing it with the best intentions in the world but it's still not really okay. The fake "Indian legends" he puts in the story are basically the equivalent of going "ching chong" to imitate an Asian language.

Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Together with the gorgeous illustrations from Charles Vess, this ageless tale completely transports the reader into a mythical and magical universe. I just could have kept reading and looking at the pictures all day long in order to stay there and never leave!
The combination of the Folklore-Fairy Tale with the time Science Fiction (going back in time/time travel/alternate reality/however you describe it) really worked well!
Usually I find De Lint's adult novels are deeper and richer, however t
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
Lillian lives on a farm with her aunt, and she enjoys wandering the nearby forest, looking for fairies. One day she decides to follow a deer and ends up lost in the woods. While she lies under a tree to rest, a snake bites her. As the venom sinks in, Lillian knows she is dying. The world fades away, and cats of the forest surround her and decide to use their magic to save her by turning her into a kitten. What follows is a tale of Lillian trying to set her world right again through the help of m ...more
Cassandra Carico
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Charles de Lint never disappoints. This was exactly the magical world I needed as reprieve from my studies, and Charles Vess adds perfectly to the experience with his beautiful illustrations.
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
"A person can't depend on anybody else for their happiness. The only way you can ever find any peace is to find it in yourself-in what you do and what you stand for."

Cats, fairies, possum witches, talking foxes, magical forests...what's not to love? ;) This book was a fun hodgepodge fairytale of a young girl coming into her own. When she falls asleep in the magical Tanglewood Forest near her farm and gets bit by a poisonous snake, you think the tale might be over before it has begun. But nothing
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Just as lovely and magical as I could have hoped, this book took me back to those childhood days when every page was an adventure to be savored. With the advent of eBooks, I have my fingers crossed that publishers may be inspired to give us a little something extra in a physical book. Sure, I love the convenience of carrying books around on my phone, but that doesn't mean I don't want lovely, hardbound, illustrated versions on my shelf as well. THE CATS OF TANGLEWOOD FOREST is the perfect exampl ...more
Lacey Louwagie
Around the Year Reading Challenge Item #27: A Book With a Beautiful Title

I expected to like this book a lot more than I actually did -- as a cat lover, I was disappointed that the cats did not play a bigger part, that we never learned much about their society or their "cat magic" and that the inciting incident of Lillian being transformed into a cat wasn't even that much of the story.

The quest that actually takes up most of the book felt a little convoluted to me, and the messaging trite. The fi
Once upon a time a little girl who lives with her Aunt and feeds all the wild cats goes traipsing about the forest, falls asleep beneath a beech tree, and gets bit by a snake. Because they love her, the cats decide to save her by turning her into a kitten.

A charming MG novel, with lovely illustrations by Charles Vess. It's a companion novel to Seven Wild Sisters, which I liked better, but this one was still a fun read.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just didn't work for me. Too many tropes, too full of itself. Not enough cats, or enough fox (T.H. was the best part). Sometimes, in the pictures especially, the girl seemed to be about 8, other times more like 13. If it weren't for the plethora of pictures, I don't think I'd have bothered to finish it... not because I loved them (I didn't) but because they took up space and so the book is short.

I've heard that the original version is a picture-book. I might read that sometime, because I could
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. A young girl who lives in the Ozarks wanders deep into the woods and ends up on a very unexpected path. Charming illustrations follow her journey, as she learns about friendship. consequences, and standing up for herself.
Lilly #2
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read this book multiple times after getting it for my birthday in 2017, and loved it each time. The storyline is interesting and will keep everyone interested. The target audience is for kids ages 8-12 but I think that everyone should give it a try.

The story is well developed, and I don’t think any part of it dragged at all. Every part added to the story and made it better. I absolutely loved the writing style and the illustrations.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was such a vast improvement over the "Wild Sisters" book that I was tempted to give this book five stars.

The writing here is tighter, and the characters more developed and believable. There still is missing a final je ne sais quoi element that would make this book excellent and un-put-down-able, but it is very, very close to it.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I recall absolutely adoring some of de Lint's books as a young and avid reader. Now that I am a middle-aged and avid reader, I find I'm harder to please. In any case, this book was solidly O.K. A little thin for me, a little dark, I think, for the avid young reader in my home, and for a book with "cats" in the title, awfully light on actual felines. Vess's illustrations are very pretty, but his cats are also just ok. I can imagine this book working better as an animated movie (possibly by Studio ...more
~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Wells
Five stars since I cannot see the number of stars lately on the reviews that I read. This is a fabulous fairy tale with wonderful illustrations. I finished it about two am as I could not quit reading it.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Another great spider tale. 🕷
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lilian's story. This is perfect for middle grade readers. ...more
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest was a great read aloud incorporating storytelling and folk tales. It was a great adventure to travel along with Lillian as she solves her cat problem and has to navigate a fantasy world of talking cats, foxes, and bear people that come to life. Charles de Lint does a wonderful job of providing young children with morale philosophy and life skills of navigating difficult decision making as Lillian has to contemplate and figure out for herself what is the best choice ...more
Seth Gorden
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One could call this a modern fairy tale, though it's not 21st-century modern. It seems to be a rural American tale, weaving together strands influence from the Welsh and other historical fairy traditions with that of American folklore and Native American mythology. While there is no doubt that this is a Fairy Tale of the first order, it choose cats as the mechanism by which the protagonist, Lillian, is propelled into matters beyond the normal, objective world. That being said, the cats function ...more
Bluerose's  Heart
Other than this book, I've only read 2 other books by Charles de Lint. Those two books let me know how much I ADORE his writing style, though. ADORE! Unfortunately, due to the profanity, I've kept myself from reading any of his other books. (My conviction in this area is *not* an easy one!) It has been one of THE hardest things to do. I've said this time and again, but do you know how hard it is to find clean Native American fantasy fiction?! De Lint writes with an amazing amount of folklore wea ...more
A lovely, beautifully illustrated prequel to Seven Wild Sisters, telling the story of how Lillian was turned into a cat for a day and met the Apple Tree Man.

As much as I love Charles de Lint, I have to admit he plays fast and loose with his Native American traditions -- almost as if the tribes were interchangeable. Unfortunately, in this book it's very apparent since Ananzi makes an appearance as an old woman named Aunt Nancy.

And yes, I know it says that Aunt Nancy's father came from Africa, an
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest is the kind of folk fantasy that de Lint is most known for. At least, in my circles. His brand of fantasy is half fey, half wild, dealing in ephemeral phases, whimsical. Lillian is a fun character to follow around; she is spunky, adventurous and very opinionated. She will appeal to younger readers for her willingness to travel beyond what is comfortable and take chances where less braver souls would falter.

I particularly like the portion when Lillian first discovers
A modern fairytale or at least folk tale. This is a story of Aunt Lillian from Seven Wild Sisters, as a child - when she gets bit by a snake and turned into a kitten. Its got that old illustrated book feel, rich and slow. Even the font and the little vines around the page numbers. I'm not sure the story quite works and its aimed oddly - a bit too hard and long for a read-to-self, and not quite for a bedtime-book. But its beautiful - perhaps a grade-school girl would be a better target. But worth ...more
This new version of de Lint's and Vess' "A Circle of Cats" is a full length fantasy story that feels old and new at the same time. Charles de Lint has a wonderful way of taking new stories and making them feel as though they've been growing there for years, putting down quiet roots and tapping into the wellsprings of ancient stories. Charles Vess' illustrations are also delightful and while I enjoyed the picture book that this story is based on, I found this expanded story richer and even more t ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-rose
We LOVED this book. It's a sweet little story about a girl who learns some tough lessons about life, death, consequences, and hard work. She has to go through much hardship but she's smart and brave. It's a cleaver story, well written, and has twists and turns that you're not expecting. I found myself grabbing the book and asking Rose if we could read and asking her if we could continue when she got tired of listening. It has colored pictures too, which is really fun. We enjoyed the illustration ...more
Brandy Painter
Animal tales are not really my thing. So imagine my surprise when I found myself rather enjoying this story about a girl who was turned into a cat. That part didn't last nearly long enough though. I think I would have preferred this if it had been about girl turned cat and her adventures with various animal friends to find a way to switch back. Unfortunately the book goes a different direction early on and I wasn't nearly as pleased with where it led. ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wild cats sharing dreams. A quest to restore oneself to who they really are - once they figure out who that truly is. Time travel / parallel worlds. An almost perfect mixture of folklore and fairy tales. What's NOT to love about this book?

I recommend reading The Cats of Tanglewood Forest first, then reading its sequel/companion novel, Seven Wild Sisters.

4 stars
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LOTS of new content in this book 2 14 Feb 27, 2019 05:40PM  
Into the Forest: Cats of Tanglewood Forest by De Lint - Spoiler Free 15 13 Jun 30, 2016 02:30AM  
Target Age 5 19 Oct 24, 2013 09:50AM  

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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's b ...more

Other books in the series

Newford (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Dreams Underfoot (Newford, #1)
  • Memory and Dream (Newford, #2)
  • The Ivory and the Horn (Newford, #3)
  • Trader (Newford, #4)
  • Someplace to Be Flying (Newford, #5)
  • Moonlight and Vines (Newford, #6)
  • Forests of the Heart (Newford, #7)
  • The Onion Girl (Newford, #8)
  • Tapping the Dream Tree (Newford, #9)
  • Spirits in the Wires (Newford, #10)

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“Maybe there’s something you can learn from being a cat instead of a little girl.” “What” 2 likes
“On a quiet day, when the wind was still, the creek could be heard all the way up to where the old beech stood. Under its branches, cats would come to dream and be dreamed. Black cats and calicos, white cats and marmalade ones, too. Sometimes they exchanged gossip or told stories about L'il Pater, the trickster cat. More often they lay in a drowsy circle around the fat trunk of the ancient beech that spread its boughs above them. Then one of them might tell a story of the old and powerful Father of Cats, and though the sun might still be high and the day warm, they would shiver and groom themselves with nervous tongues.

But they hadn't yet gathered on the day the orphan girl fell asleep among the beech's roots, nestling in the weeds and long grass like the gangly, tousle-haired girl she was.

Her name was Lillian Kindred.”
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