Mousehole Cat Review

Mousehole Cat Review: The Mousehole Cat tells the tale of an old Cornish legend about a fisherman named Tom Bawcock and his cat, Mowzer.

Old Tom and Mowser live an idyllic and calm life in the Cornish fishing village of Mowzel. The story is seen through Mowser's eyes.

To Mowser, as perhaps to all domestic cats, her owner is really her servant. But her human servant is well behaved, and he's proficient at scratching her ears, keeping the stove hot and catching fish for her to eat.

This pastoral and peaceful lifestyle is challenged when the great storm cat - a fierce winter storm - prevents any of the boats from leaving the safety of the walled harbour. As it states in the text, 'the fishing boats sat safe as mice in their mousehole. But they could no get out.'

This is disastrous for the fishermen, as they rely on fish from the sea to feed the village's population.

Old Tom and his cat Mowser brave the ferocity of the storm in an effort to save the village from starvation.

The Mousehole Cat is a well written story that has been in print for some time. It was first published in 1991.

There is an elegant symmetry between the words on the page and the illustrations that accompany them.

Take for example the opening paragraph:

'At the far end of England, a land of rocks and moorland stretches itself out into the blue-green sea.

Between its high headlands lie tiny sheltering harbours where the fishing boats hide when the winter storms are blowing.'

The paragraph is gracefully constructed with complex and compound-complex sentences that vividly describe fishing villages, and implies that the villagers live in a cold, and at times, unforgiving environment. On the opposite page the impressive illustration perfectly depicts the tiny harbour and its little boats.

The mousehole cat is an excellent book to use as a shared reading text. The written language is often compelling and the use of metaphor and imagery is well done.

This Mousehole Cat review would not be complete without a short mention of Nicola Bayley's illustrations. As stated elsewhere in this review they are highly detailed and appropriate to the text. The Mousehole Cat is highly recommended.

Return from Mousehole Cat Review to 3rd Grade Books

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