Catwings Return (Book #2)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Paperback, 2003



Local notes





Scholastic Inc. (2003), Edition: Reprint, 56 pages


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.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

56 p.; 5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member LillianE
This book is best for me because Roger and Harriet return to their mom,
coming from Overhill farm. On the way to their house under the dumpster
they find Jane. She is stuck in a building while a big truck with a string that has a big ball attached to it is knocking all the buildings down. And they're
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getting her out just as it is about to knock down that very building.

I like the idea of of them bringing Jane to an old and pretty house where their mom now lives. I like the kiss on the nose when Jane comes back to her mom.
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LibraryThing member alana_leigh
After recently reading what I at first considered to be my first Ursula K. Le Guin work, I was reminded of the fact that I was quite wrong... and that as a child, I had actually loved two Le Guin books, though that may have been because they included the young-Alana prerequisite for any good book:
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Catwings focuses on the Tabby family, or rather, the four children of Mrs. Jane Tabby. Without a father and with their home in a neighborhood that was growing worse, Mrs. Jane Tabby has her paws full and so there was no real time to worry much about the fact that her children had wings. There comes a point when Mrs. Tabby believes that her children need to leave and find a better life for themselves, and so she insists that they use their wings to fly away and do just that. She is left behind, newly engaged to a good tomcat, and while her words are a bit brusque, no one doubts that all Mrs. Tabby wants is the best life possible for her children. So Thelma, Roger, James, and Harriet fly into the country, where they make a life for themselves, but learn that life can be just as dangerous there as it was in the city. Ultimately, they befriend two human children who understand that they can never tell anyone about the flying cats or everyone would try to trap them. Instead, they give the cats a home in the top of their family's barn and the story ends happily with the semi-domestication of the flying cats.

Catwings Returns focuses primarily on James and Harriet, who decide that they wish to visit their mother in the old neighborhood, and so they leave their siblings in the country for what is supposed to be a simple visit. (Roger and Thelma believe the children they have befriended would be far too worried if everyone left, so they stay behind.) Of course, when James and Harrier arrive, they find that construction crews are demolishing the neighborhood, their mother is nowhere to be found, and their attention is caught by a mewing sound -- which turns out to be a black winged kitten in a condemned building. With patience, they befriend the kitten (who clearly must be their mother's kitten, they believe, given the wings) and manage to save him in the knick of time from the encroaching bulldozers. They find Mrs. Jane Tabby in a rooftop garden, their mother having recently been taken in by an old woman after the first bulldozers drove her from the neighborhood. Her husband was away on business (and she seems little concerned with his loss) and she cannot get down from the rooftop garden, but now that she knows her kitten is safe, Mrs. Jane Tabby is perfectly content to stay right where she is -- provided James and Harriet take her kitten with them to the country. They do so and the kitten is named Jane, happy in her new country surroundings with her older siblings.

There were two other books in the Catwings Collection -- named Marvelous Alexander and the Catwings and Jane on her Own -- but they never really captured me the way the first two did. At the time, I was charmed by the drawings and, let's face it, any story that featured kitties. Now that I'm older and know a bit more about Le Guin's work, I find them to be embedded with deeper concepts about parenthood, survival, independence, and trust. With Le Guin's interest in gender roles, it's unsurprising that we have a strong single mother and a similarly strong female leader in Thelma. The dangers of the world are quite present, both in the city and the country, and Le Guin is not afraid to make those manifest in attacks on the individuals and long-term repercussions.

I hadn't been that keen on picking up another Le Guin book after reading a series of her stories for adults, but this re-read of Catwings may have actually won her another chance. It's all a bit deeper than the simple story of flying cats and touches upon ideas of growing up and finding one's own way in the world (though there's still a healthy reliance on family). Catwings: not just for kitty-obsessed kids anymore. Though if you have one of those, then you should definitely introduce them to Mrs. Tabby and her children.
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LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
The Catwings are back. Harriet and James go to visit their mother and find her home gone, and a new little black kitten with wings. They earn the kitten's trust, find their mother, and discover that the kitten is their little sister, Jane. They bring Jane back home to the farm.
LibraryThing member DebbieMcCauley
A sweet little story from one of my favourite authors, Ursula Le Guin. The catwings leave the farm and visit the city to look for their mother and in the process discover they have a half-sister who is just like them.
LibraryThing member empress8411
Just as cute and clever as the first, I enjoyed the further adventures of the intrepid flying cats. They are smart and kind, a fine example. I enjoyed meeting the newest cat and seeing how things turned out. Again, I would recommend this to an early readers who enjoys stories about animals.
LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
Again sweet but a little pointless. The younger Catwings decide to go back and visit their mother, but find that their natal alley is in the process of being demolished. They find and rescue another winged kitten (which points to the wings coming, somehow, from their mother, since the new kitten
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has a different father...). They magically find their mother, on no clue at all (she's the only cat that's ever been on a roof in the city?!), but end up returning to the farm with the new kitten, who gets christened by the humans there. End of story.
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LibraryThing member athena.j
The genre of this book is modern fantasy, and it is an early chapter book. James, Harriet, Thelma, and Roger are all cats who can fly. They live in the country and are kept safe by two children, but one day, they wish to visit their mother who lives in the city. When they get there, they find a
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black kitten with wings, but no mother. They eventually find her, and then take the kitten back with them to the countryside again. I would recommend this early chapter books to 3rd or 4th graders looking for a quick fantasy read.
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LibraryThing member cbl_tn
The Catwings – four sibling cats with wings – love the home they found in the country at Overhill Farm, where they are cared for by children Hank and Susan. However, they miss their mother in the city they left behind. Two siblings, James and Harriet, decide to visit their mother in the city.
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They're surprised by changes that have taken place since they left, and by their discovery of a black kitten...with wings just like theirs. Readers who fell in love with the Catwings in their first appearance will enjoy their further adventures. This book doesn't stand as well on its own as do the other books in the series. It seems to serve a dual purpose of sequel to the first book and setting the stage for the next two books in the series.
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LibraryThing member elenchus
W liked the kitten Alexander, introduced here, and the fact that the older cats helped him out. I'm thinking this is a cuddlebug book for W, suggesting another aspect of stories which attract his attention. I think it helps that it's become his series of books on cats, rivalling his sister's
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interest in Warriors. We've already checked out the next Catwings.
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LibraryThing member Bookish59
Harriet and James return to the city to check on their mother. But the area where she lives, where they had grown up is being demolished. They find a hungry black kitten... with wings. They help find it food, clean it and comfort it.

They take cat with them as they continue looking for their mom.
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And fhankfully find her on a pleasant roof. She is so glad to see them and her lost kitten.

She asks Harriet and James to take the kitten to their new home so she could be safe.

Happy fun story.
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½ (154 ratings; 3.9)
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