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GHOST CAT by Eve Bunting


by Eve Bunting ; illustrated by Kevin Barry

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-58536-993-5
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Ghost cat Sailor Boy is a faithful companion even after the end.

Miss Maggie McCullen, a red-haired white woman, has been in charge of the Port Carrick lighthouse for 42 years. Siamese cat Sailor Boy used to live with her. When he died, he decided to stay with her. He seems to retain his corporeality but can choose when to be visible. They go about their days pretty much as they did when he was alive, and each night he helps her light the light that keeps the boats around Port Carrick safe from the rocks. People on the mainland think Miss Maggie must be lonely, but they don’t know about Sailor Boy. The occasional paying visitors to the island don’t know about Sailor Boy (even when he invisibly taunts them with ghostly purrs or ankle scratches). When Miss Maggie’s niece Cissie Curry, also white, comes to visit and must stay the night due to a storm, Miss Maggie sprains her ankle on the stairs. Sailor Boy must get Cissie’s attention and help her light the light. Can he do it? This is an odd offering from the prolific Bunting. Barry’s watercolor illustrations in sepia-muted colors are appealing, but the tale they help to tell is slight. His ghostly nature makes Sailor Boy interesting, but it’s his ability to act like a living cat that saves the day (or night), which will likely strike readers as contradictory.

A light, slight fantasy.

(author’s note) (Picture book. 5-9)