Gracie the Lighthouse Cat

( 1 )

Overview

One stormy night Grace, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, spots a ship in trouble on the rocks. At the same time, the lighthouse cat, Gracie, discovers that one of her kittens has strayed. Grace and Gracie both hurry to the rescue, braving the rain and storm. Grace alerts her father and together they set out in the lifeboat to save the passengers. Meanwhile, Gracie ventures into the dark night and howling wind looking a listening everywhere for her lost kitten. The dual stories—one told only in pictures, the ...

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Overview

One stormy night Grace, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, spots a ship in trouble on the rocks. At the same time, the lighthouse cat, Gracie, discovers that one of her kittens has strayed. Grace and Gracie both hurry to the rescue, braving the rain and storm. Grace alerts her father and together they set out in the lifeboat to save the passengers. Meanwhile, Gracie ventures into the dark night and howling wind looking a listening everywhere for her lost kitten. The dual stories—one told only in pictures, the other in both pictures and text—illustrate the bravery of two rescues in 1838, which saved thirteen people from a shipwreck and one poor kitten from a terrible storm.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
The illustrations in this story are exquisite and tell a dramatic story, while the text tells an equally striking tale. The illustrated story is of Grace, daughter of a lighthouse keeper in Bamburgh, England, who, in 1838, sees a sailing ship crash during a thunderous storm. She alerts her father and helps row out to the ship to rescue the passengers and crew. But while she races to be heroic, her cat, Gracie's, kitten follows the girl down the stairs and is washed into the sea. Gracie wakes up from her nap and scours the house to find her baby. Then she goes outside and calls for the kitten. Only by chance does she see him, wet and bedraggled, climbing up a rock. She carries him back to the lighthouse just as the shipwreck victims have reached safety. The story is nicely told and the parallel of human versus animal rescue is a nice juxtaposition. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
Kirkus Reviews
Araging storm is prelude to a miracle at sea. Battering rain, howling wind and the crash of waves add up to danger off the coast of the Farne Islands in England. Inside the lighthouse, Gracie the cat and her kitten are warm and snug in the parlor. The sound of running footsteps intrigues the kitten, who rushes to investigate. The front door is open—the lighthouse keeper and his daughter arebraving the choppy waters in their rowboat to rescue passengers of a wrecked ship—and a gale-force wind lifts the kitten and deposits him in the sea. Gracie is distraught; as the rescued climb the stone steps to the lighthouse, she cries frantically. But it's hopeless...until she spots the kitten, soaking wet and terrified and clinging to the rocks. Gracie picks him up and whisks him to safety. This tale of feline excitement takes place with the true-life story of Grace Darling's famous 1838 rescue as its backdrop. Readers can see Grace and her father and the soggy ship's passengers they save from the battering seas, although the very simple text focuses only on Gracie and the kitten. (Brief notes on the endpapers fill in the history.) Brown's elegant pictures (no one does cats quite like her) suggest, in the best possible way,Classics Illustratedcomics, and her story is similarly robust and interesting.(Picture book. 5-8)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Gracie, a cat whose home is in a lighthouse, relaxes alongside her little kitten while in the background Grace, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, spots a ship in trouble on the rocks. The two stories about bravery during a raging storm in 1838 unfold simultaneously. Gracie's story is described in the text, while the human drama is portrayed primarily in the artwork. Attractive, painterly renditions of the treacherous sea as well as the emotional features on the faces of the animals will draw children into the suspenseful tale. Sentences are short and function ostensibly to move the action along. It is the artwork that adds additional meaning to the event. Endpapers introduce the historical setting and conclude with an afterword. Cat lovers will remember this event after the first reading and will be able to retell the story just by following the pictures.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761374541
  • Publisher: Andersen Press USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 915,599
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

During the past 30 years, Ruth Brown has created some of the world's best loved children's books. She is married to artist Ken Brown, and they have two grown-up sons and one grandchild.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting and inspirational

    Gracie and her kitten sat on the wide windowsill in the lighthouse as the rains lashed against the window. She closed her eyes to sleep, eyes that didn't see a ship being battered in the raging seas or people stranded on rocks in the distance. Most of all, she didn't see her kitten jump down from the sill to chase after young Grace Darling who ran down the winding steps to join her father as he prepared a boat to rescue the shipwrecked men and women. The kitten peered out the door as Grace and her father prepared to launch their rowboat while waves pummeled the lighthouse rocks. The curious kitten soon met with calamity himself when "The wind caught the door and slammed it shut, hurling him out into the storm." Just as the kitten was thrown from the doorstep and Grace and her father began to row frantically in the choppy, windswept waves, Gracie woke from her nap. She began to call to her kitten and search for him. She "climbed out of the cellar window," but her cries went unheeded and unheard "by the howling wind." Would Gracie be able to find her wayward kitten? Would Grace and her father be able to save anyone in the treacherous storm? The rescue of shipwrecked people by young Grace Darling will thrill the young reader. This amazing story is based on the true story of a daring rescue of several shipwreck survivors. Grace's father was the lighthouse keeper of the Longstone Lighthouse in England. There are two stories told in this book, the story of Grace and her father's rescue are portrayed in pictures while that of the fictional Gracie and her wayward kitten are portrayed both in pictures and text. The magnificently expressive artwork brings both of the stories together and the excitement of both rescues comes alive with each swirl of Ruth Brown's brushes. In the end pages there is a brief portrait of Grace Darling, the rescue, and subsequent fame. Quill says: This exciting, inspirational tale of two heroines will soon become a cherished classic by young and old alike!

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