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Children's LiteratureEngaging, elegant paintings bring the cats of this lighthouse to life in a coastal adventure inspired various versions of a tower that has stood on the rocks off Plymouth, England, since 1698. The lonely, white-bearded lighthouse keeper, on his faithful rounds, discovers a hungry cat huddled on the stairs of the tower. The keeper names the soft gray kitten Mackerel, and the two become inseparable companions. Together, just before sundown each evening, they climb to the top of the tower, and set alight the twenty four candles. Then, together, they mount the stairs to check the flames each half hour, all in an effort to save ships at sea from coming too close to the dangerous rocks. One night, wild wind extinguishes the light and hope, as all desperate attempts of relighting the wicks fail. Mackerel musters his friends and finds a way to save the ships by shining another kind of light from the lighthouse. The paintings glow with an intensity, a depth and a realism that lends a sort of texture to the pages. The perspectives show off the island and the lighthouse, the keeper and the cats from every delightful angle. 2004, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers, and Ages 3 to 7.