The Mousehole cat(pronounced Mowzel - ow as in ouch!) is the enchanting story of a time of near famine, based on a true event, seen through the eyes of Mowzer, a fisherman's cat. Winter gales had prevented the fishing fleet from going out and the villagers were starving - one fisherman braves the gale to save them, taking Mowzer his cat with him.
The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and it's set in one of my favourite tiny fishing villages in Cornwall - well it's spread a bit nowadays but the original village is tiny, narrow alleyways and cottages snuggled up to each other against the wild weather that Cornwall can get.
The Guardian writes about it: An utterly magical picture book with rich, vividly coloured illustrations, friezes and borders that complement Barber's simple, almost severe telling of the dramatic Cornish legend of Mowser the Cat and Tom, the old fisherman, who brave the fury of the Great Storm Cat to save their village from starving.
The way the illustrator, Nicola Bayley, draws/paints the characters, the sea and above all the great storm cat are simpy gorgeous and she catches the area beautifully. She catches the beautifully greeny blue of the sea in Cornwall.
I'd highly recommend it to anyone who loves Cornwall, loves cats, likes old fishing villages, paintings of the sea, good illustrations, good childrens books .... it's charming, funny and children as well as adults will love it :) You can buy it from Amazon or Cornish bookshops online if you think it sounds interesting :)
Mousehole was a favourite place when I was child, living on the north coast of Cornwall - Mousehole is on the south coast - the harbour is tiny, the streets narrow and then it was still lived in by local people, sadly now I think most of the little cramped cottages are let to holiday makers.
and today's doodle in class :
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