Monday, March 19, 2012
Review: A Circle of Cats
A Circle of Cats by Charles de Lint
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a picture book intended for kids older than 8. However, like many other illustrated classics, I can see parents picking this up because they enjoy it. The illustrations, done by Charles Vess, are rich, colorful, and each a small masterpiece. The story is engaging, though not too complex for a child to follow.
A Circle of Cats is about a girl names Lillian who leaves food for various wild creatures, from stray cats to the mythological man who lives in the twisty apple tree. She falls asleep under a tree where cats meet, and is bitten by a poisonous snake. The cats save her life by transforming her into a cat, and she has to face the Father of Cats to try to be turned back into a little girl.
Lillian is kind to wild and magical creatures for the sake of kindness, and there are underlying themes of doing things because they're right, drawing goodness to oneself by simply being good, and how good deeds are their own reward.
Sadly, this book appears to be out of print. But, if you're the parent of an 8-year-old (or so), I'd recommend getting your hands on a copy, perhaps at your local library. It's a delightful introduction to Charles de Lint's magical worlds.
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