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WONDERFUL ALEXANDER AND THE CATWINGS by Ursula K. Le Guin

WONDERFUL ALEXANDER AND THE CATWINGS

By Ursula K. Le Guin (Author) , S.D. Schindler (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-531-06851-X
Publisher: Orchard

The endearing winged cats who escaped the city to be cared for by two reliable country children (Catwings, 1988, etc.) make a third appearance in this tale of a self-important kitten from nearby who discovers that his true worth is not what he has supposed. Alexander--"the biggest, the strongest, and the loudest"--has never noticed that his sisters are "quite tired of him," but when he sets out to explore the world he soon learns that his cocky preconceptions don't serve. The cow who says "Moo" instead of "Mew" is unconcerned when he corrects her; speeding trucks and rude dogs threaten; when he bolts up a tree, he can't climb down and his doting parents don't turn up to help. Enter youngest Catwing Jane, nearly mute because of an early trauma (her only words are "Me" and "Hate"), to take Alexander to her home--where his parents and "Owner" turn out to be glad to let him stay. After Alexander cajoles and hectors Jane into confronting her fears and describing them with her first real words, the Catwings agree: Alexander is "wonderful." Brief as it is, this is a deftly crafted bildungsroman. The book's small format and Schindler's delicate illustrations add to the enchantment. A first chapter book to charm both newly independent readers and their elders. (Fiction. 5-10)