The Lighthouse Cat

( 1 )

Overview

In an old lighthouse, where a twenty-four-candle lantern lights a sparkling blue-green sea, dwell a solitary keeper and his little companion -- a cat called Mackerel. Together the two climb up, up, up to watch over the nighttime sea and down, down, down to eat and play.

On one stormy night, the quick rush of a fierce wind darkens every candle. Soon an errant fishing boat, lost in the raging black sea, signals distress. Sure enough, it is the sudden glow of twenty-four flashing ...

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Overview

In an old lighthouse, where a twenty-four-candle lantern lights a sparkling blue-green sea, dwell a solitary keeper and his little companion -- a cat called Mackerel. Together the two climb up, up, up to watch over the nighttime sea and down, down, down to eat and play.

On one stormy night, the quick rush of a fierce wind darkens every candle. Soon an errant fishing boat, lost in the raging black sea, signals distress. Sure enough, it is the sudden glow of twenty-four flashing yellow lights that guide the boat away from danger. Just what could those new lights be?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Engaging, 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.
—Deborah Zink
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This beautifully illustrated tale is set in the past, when a lighthouse was lit with a 24-candle lantern and the keeper was responsible for trimming the wicks every half hour. Using descriptive language, Stainton tells how a lonely keeper discovers a stray cat on board the supply boat and decides to keep him. Mackerel proves to be the perfect companion for the man, helping him to watch for boats and providing company at night. When a terrible storm knocks out the lantern and the keeper is unable to re-light it, Mackerel prevents a shipwreck by summoning 11 of his feline friends; they wait for the clouds to clear and then light up the area by having the moon reflect in their eyes. The illustrations are impressive. Full-page paintings are framed by ocean-blue backgrounds, while each page of text sports a circular vignette. A border of waves decorates the bottom of each spread. When the storm hits, the waves become dark and sinister looking. The close-up renderings of the gray-coated, green-eyed cat are especially appealing. This is a great book for children to read for personal enjoyment and for teachers to share as part of a history lesson.-Sheilah Kosco, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060096045
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/20/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 485,141
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Sue Stainton is an art director and lives with her husband and three boys in southwest England. She is the author of many books for children, including the bestselling Santa's Snow Cat, The Lighthouse Cat, I Love Cats, and The Chocolate Cat, all illustrated by Anne Mortimer, and Christmas Magic, illustrated by Eva Melhuish.

Anne Mortimer is the author and illustrator of Bunny's Easter Egg and Pumpkin Cat. She has illustrated many other children's books, including Santa's Snow Cat by Sue Stainton, A Pussycat's Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown, and The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. She lives in southwest England.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2007

    I love cats, they love you unconditionally

    When I read this book, I was like wow, I want to write childrens' books. What a wonderful book for all children to read. I'm 46 and I got a little choked up towards the end. It was wonderful, I bought it for my cats, they do a lot of talking, but don't read.

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