Gracie, the Lighthouse Cat, Hardback Book

Gracie, the Lighthouse Cat Hardback

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


One stormy night Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, spots a ship in trouble on the rocks.

At the same time the lighthouse cat Gracie spots that a kitten from her new litter has strayed. Grace and Gracie both hurry to the rescue, braving the rain and storm. Grace alerts her father and together they take out the lifeboat; Gracie ventures into the dark night and howling wind looking and listening everywhere for her kitten.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 32 pages, chiefly col. Illustrations
  • Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Picture storybooks
  • ISBN: 9781842709719

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Gracie, The Lighthouse Cat by Ruth Brown is a picture book about two rescues during a fierce storm near a lighthouse. Grace, the lighthouse keeper's daughter spots a ship aground and helps in the rescue. Meanwhile, Gracie, the lighthouse cat, wakes from a nap to notice one of her kittens is missing.For a book about a storm, a shipwreck and people and cats being rescued, there's not much drama. The humans are rescued all rather matter-of-factly. The rescue of the kitten doesn't involve much either.For a better lighthouse rescue story that's a little more involved in the adventure and the character building, I recommend The Lighthouse, the Cat and the Sea by Leigh W. Rutledge.

Review by

This adorable picture-book, not due out here in the United States until January of 2011, is inspired by the story of real-life heroine Grace Darling, the daughter of the keeper of the Longstone Lighthouse (located in the Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland) who, in September of 1838, aided her father in the rescue of nine shipwreck survivors, becoming a national celebrity in the process. Apparently - and I confess, I had not heard of Grace Darling before picking up this book - she was the subject of a poem by William Wordsworth, as well as a well-known painting by Victorian painter William Bell Scott, and has featured in a number of books and folk ballads.<u>Gracie, The Lighthouse Cat</u> however, as the name would imply, is the story, not of Grace Darling herself, but of Gracie, the cat living with Grace and her family at the time of the great rescue. When Gracie's little kitten hears running and shouting one stormy night, he goes to investigate, finding himself locked out of the lighthouse, and almost swept away by an incoming wave. Will Gracie get to him in time to save him from drowning...?Ruth Brown's narrative - instantly involving for any cat-lover - is clearly meant to parallel the historical tale of Grace (seen only through the illustrations), as young woman and cat both venture out into the wet and stormy night, in order to rescue those in need of aid. I can't help but feel that, had I already been familiar with the history, I would have found this an even more meaningful book. Still, the author/artist provides information in both a brief foreword and afterword, filling in some of the blanks. And the story itself is immediate and compelling, with a very satisfactory happy ending (for cat and kitten, anyway - obviously, not all of the people aboard the SS Forfarshire survived).The illustrations, also done by Brown, are simply delightful, perfectly capturing the mood of each scene, whether that be the kitten's playful joy, when sitting beside his mama on the window sill, or his terror and confusion, as he is tumbled head over heel by wind and wave. I really liked the dual "narrative" offered by the artwork, as the human and feline tale play out side by side. I know that Ruth Brown is a very well-regarded picture-book creator in Britain, and I can certainly see why! The best picture-books can boast a smooth meeting of word and image, as test and illustrations work together to tell the story. Judged on this basis, <u>Gracie, The Lighthouse Cat</u> is a real winner!

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