I love to introduce my students to some of my own favorite authors. Here’s a recent post from my second grade blog about our read aloud project on Catwings, by Ursula Le Guin.

Second graders love to be read to, and this week we shared a terrific series of books by the well-known and very well-respected author, Ursula K. Le Guin. She’s a wonderful writer and her imagination has thrilled many readers, young and old. It was our turn to fall in love with one of her series: her Catwings Collection. There are four little books in the series, and at the center of each is the Catwings family. Yes, cats with wings. They were born in the city, under a dumpster, to Mrs. Jane Tabby, (who does NOT have wings,) and she lovingly tells her four children (who DO have wings) that they must fly away and find a better place to live out in the countryside. Those four little cats with wings have some very interesting adventures, but the most important thing about them is that they are kind and caring, and help each other in many different ways.

Orson Scott Card, described Le Guin’s stories this way:

Yet even though LeGuin’s stories are not sentimentalized, neither do they shock or brutalize in their truthfulness. Rather, as she makes danger and loss and injury and fear and all the passages of life seem natural and unavoidable, LeGuin also lets us see that life can still be well-lived, and individuals can still act rightly and lovingly and bravely, and can bear with dignity whatever losses come. Not a bad set of truths for children to learn in a couple of gentle, well-told tales.

The children now have a “waiting list” for all four books, which they worked out themselves, and are reading them, then passing them along to the next Reader. Ah…the joy of finding a good series of books!

14 thoughts on “Catwings

  1. Bookfool

    Those are so cute!!!! I’ve never heard of Catwings. Honestly, I think even grown-ups like to be read to, sometimes, or audios would be a flop. 🙂


  2. Chris

    I just had to say how much I love your students’ drawings! They’re amazing! I can’t even imagine being able to draw like that now, much less in second grade :p You have a talented group!


  3. Robin

    Nymeth, they are so short and sweet, and so Ursula!

    Thats so true, Bookfool. I definitely love being read to, thus my love of audiobooks!

    Maree, Patrick would enjoy them…and so would you!

    Thanks, Chelsea!

    J. Danger, it’s amazing how organized 8-year olds can get. They’re very creative problem solvers, and they have a strong sense of fairness! So a “waiting list” was their solution to too many kids, not enough copies of the book.

    Booklogged, the grandkids would enjoy listening to them or reading them themselves. And the grandparents would enjoy them, too!

    Thanks, Chris. There are always a few really talented artists in a classroom, but these are just pictures drawn from the heart. I am always blown away by the art that comes out of an 8-year old. It’s because they are still completely innocent, honest, and amazingly creative!


  4. Sarah

    I haven’t read any Le Guin yet, but the premise of these picture books made me smile. I will have to get a copy for my eight-year-old brother (and me!)

    The waiting list solution and drawings are adorable.


  5. Red lady-Bonnie

    I haven’t read any of Le Guin’s books. I loved seeing the drawings of your very talented 2nd graders! You’ve definitely inspired in them the love of books. What a great gift to pass on to them. I was introduced to the love of reading and books by my first grade teacher. I will never forget that experience.


  6. Robin

    Thanks, Sarah. Second graders are a really fun age to teach.

    Thanks, Red lady-Bonnie. It’s nice to hear that you were inspired by your first grade teacher. That was a very special year for me, too. I still remember the books she read aloud to us (and that was a long time ago!!).


  7. Rhinoa

    I got yhr Catwings set not long agoa nd am really looking forward to reading the series. I love the pictures your kids drew, Orca’s with wings!



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