Sunday, April 21, 2013
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint
I was so excited when I heard that this book was coming out. It's written by one of my favorite authors, Charles De Lint, and illustrated by one of my favorite artists, Charles Vess. It's an expansion on a picture book they did years back, A Circle of Cats and it was simply wonderful :) I just loved it.
While Lillian is out exploring in the woods one day, she's bitten by a snake and her life is taken from her. But not for long. A circle of cats surround her and with a twist of magic, give her that life back, but in the form of a kitten. She soon finds her aunt looking for her and worrying about her and she wants nothing more than to make everything go away and to just be a girl again. So with the help of a fox she goes to a possum witch who can reverse things to make it like nothing ever happened. But that comes with it's own consequences which set our story in motion.
I finished this book while my mom was having her surgery and my sister asked me "what are you reading?! Is that a kids book?" I told her that it could be a kids book but it's for everyone really. She asked what it was about and I said..."well it's about this little girl who gets bitten by a snake and it kills her and these cats bring her back to life but as a kitten but she doesn't want to be a kitten so she goes to this witch who makes her a girl again but because of that...." Not going to tell you any more because I don't want to tell you what happens :p But her response was "that's morbid!" Which is exactly why I love De Lint. He doesn't tell perfectly wrapped fairy tales. Instead, he gives us tales that children can enjoy too but aren't always so picture perfect.
And this tale is accompanied with absolutely GORGEOUS paintings by Charles Vess throughout. Seriously there were so many of them that I wanted to just rip out of the book and put on my walls. Something that I would never do of course :p But they fit the feel of the story so well and the book really wouldn't have felt as complete as it did without his drawings. They added so much to it. Perfect for this Once Upon a Time :)