by Eve Bunting
Miss Maggie McCullen has been the keeper for the Port Carrick lighthouse for many years. She has never missed a night, keeping the big light going. And while the people in Port Carrick are grateful to her, they worry about her lonely life at the lighthouse. But they don't know that she has her cat, Sailor Boy, for company. Because Sailor Boy is no ordinary cat. He's a ghost cat. He can make himself visible or invisible, especially when visitors come to call and he wants to be mischievous. But when a fierce storm comes and Miss Maggie needs special assistance, Sailor Boy proves his worth.
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585369935): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2017, 08/15/2017
- PDF (9781534103092): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2017, 08/15/2017
- Hosted ebook (9781534103245): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2017, 08/15/2017
- Subject: Language Arts
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 5 - Age 7
- Suggested Reading Level: Grade 1
- Lexile® Measure: 580
- Guided Reading Level: M
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: Pending
- JUVENILE FICTION / General (JUV000000)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories (JUV019000)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship (JUV039060)
Booklist - Ghost Cat
Reviewed on 1 August 2017
Miss Maggie McCullen is the lighthouse keeper of Port Carrick, where she lives with her cat, Sailor Boy, the narrator of this tale. After a long and happy life with Miss Maggie, Sailor Boy decides to stick around
for the hereafter and continue to help his owner with her lighthouse duties. The scraggly Siamese, who can choose to be visible or invisible—a fact that doesn’t bother Miss Maggie in the least—bounds around the
island, gleefully teasing visitors and accompanying Miss Maggie each night as she lights the lighthouse beacon. One stormy night, Miss Maggie trips on her way up the lighthouse tower, and it’s up to Sailor Boy
to fetch help for her and see that the beacon gets lit. Dusky plums and luminous golds flood Barry’s scratchy watercolors, through which the semitransparent Sailor Boy perches and pounces. Bunting’s
endearing ghost story is as cozy as they come, and young readers will appreciate both the fullness of the narrative and the notion of a beloved pet “living” past the grave.
School Library Journal - Ghost Cat
Reviewed on 1 August 2017
Although no longer living, Sailor Boy, an opaque ghost cat, rendered in pen-and-ink, hasn’t left his owner’s side. This title is set in the 19th century, in a lighthouse in Port Carrick, Ireland. Miss Maggie McCullen and her faithful cat light the beacon each night to keep sailors safe on the hazardous coastline. Sailor Boy leads this clear, matter-of-fact first-person narrative, explaining that although a ghost, he retains his earthly shape and body but can choose to be invisible whenever he pleases. Sailor Boy teases lighthouse visitors with his haunting purrs and unseen pawings. One night, while Miss Maggie’s niece Cissie is visiting, Miss Maggie injures her ankle as she’s walking up the steps to illuminate the lamp of the lighthouse. It’s up to Sailor Boy, previously unknown by Maggie’s niece, to graciously show Cissie how to light the great warning beam. The charming text, paired with Barry’s gothic watercolor and ink illustrations, has a playfulness that may intrigue readers rather than spook them. An appended author’s note provides a brief history of lighthouses and their importance. VERDICT Certainly not a ghost story, this selection may work best paired with other lighthouse picture books and nonfiction titles on the subject. An additional purchase.
Author: Eve Bunting
An author of more than 250 children’s books, Eve Bunting has won numerous awards and honors, including a Pen International Special Achievement award for her contribution to Children’s Literature. In 2002 she was chosen to be Irish American Woman of the Year by the Irish American Heritage Committee of New York. She lives in Pasadena, California.
Illustrator: Kevin M. Barry
Kevin Barry has lived most of his life surrounded by fur balls, literal and metaphorical. Some of these feline friends curl up nightly at his feet. Others purr softly in his heart and memories. When not rescuing mouse-shaped toys from the depths of the couch, Kevin can be found at the drawing table or the white board, teaching kids about the many magical storytelling tools of writers and illustrators. He lives near Boston, Massachusetts. Visit Kevin at kevinbarryillustration.com.
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- Author/Illustrator biography