Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Sue Stainton & illustrated by Anne Mortimer

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-009604-7
Publisher: HarperCollins

This clever interweaving of two popular picture-book subjects, cats and lighthouses, is enlivened with Mortimer’s gleaming illustrations, which literally shine here as the tale hinges on the reflective nature of cats’ eyes. One Friday, when the supplies boat from the fishing village brings the keeper’s groceries, he finds a cat amid the fish and names him Mackerel. The cat follows him everywhere and Mackerel scans the sea and alerts the keeper when he sees a whale or a boat. When a severe storm blows out the candles on the lighthouse, Mackerel sees a boat in trouble. He caterwauls, bringing 11 cats down the cliff and, wet and howling, they speed to the top of the lighthouse where the moon reflects in their eyes. The keeper sees 24 little lights, which miraculously turn a fishing boat away from the rocks. The amazingly realistic art (especially those gimlet cat eyes) outshines the flowery text. A one-page author’s note provides a history of the English lighthouse that stood for 127 years and inspired the story. (short bibliography) (Picture book. 4-7)