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By Charles De Lint, illustrated by Charles Vess
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Curriculum Subjects: Fantasy, Adventure
On a quiet day, when the wind was still, the creek could be heard all the way up to where the old beech stood. Under its branches cats would come to dream and be dreamed. But they hadn’t yet gathered the day the orphan girl fell asleep among the beech’s roots, nestling in the weeds and long grass. Her name was Lillian Kindred.
When Lillian is bitten by a poisonous snake while napping under the branches of a beech tree, the magical cats of the forest reveal themselves and save her by turning her into a kitten. Now she must set out on a journey that will lead her through an untamed wilderness full of fabled creatures–from Old Mother Possum to the fearsome Bear People–to find a way to make things right and become human again. In this whimsical, original folktale created by two masters of modern fantasy, a young girl’s journey becomes an enchanting coming-of-age story about friendship, bravery, and shaping one’s destiny.
Set in the countryside north of de Lint’s fictional town of Newford–the setting of many of his most beloved novels–this book is a new novel-length story for middle graders based on the author and illustrator’s picture book A Circle of Cats.
★ “De Lint zestfully combines the traditional and the original, the light and the dark, while Vess’s luminous full-color illustrations, simultaneously fluid and precise, capture Lillian’s effervescent blend of determination and curiosity.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review