Wednesday, November 26, 2014
This book is a retelling, with quite a bit more detail, of the story in the picture book A Circle of Cats, and happily it also is graced by Charles Vess's lovely illustrations.
Our heroine is 12-year-old Lillian, who is bitten by a poisonous snake. The wild cats of the forest, who care about her because she is always kind to them, manage to save her life - but the only way they can succeed in doing so is by turning her into a kitten. The book tells of Lillian's quest to turn back into a girl and be reunited with her grandmother, who is heartbroken by Lillian's unexplained absence.
I enjoyed this book, as I do all of de Lint's stories, particularly its evocative atmosphere, a tale steeped in folklore and magic. The illustrations are gorgeous - and I was lucky enough to see some of the original artwork in person when I attended the World Fantasy Convention just a few weeks ago. This lovely book would make a great read-aloud or children's book group choice.
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint (Hachette Book Group, 2013)