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The Mousehole Cat

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  1,170 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
This Walker audio CD is packed with entertaining story-based activities for children to enjoy again and again. Based on the wonderfully atmospheric and dramatic Cornish tale of Old Tom, the fisherman, and his cat Mowzer, who braved the wrath of the Great Storm-Cat to save their village.
Paperback, 40 pages
Published July 7th 2005 by Walker Books (first published 1990)
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"At the far end of England, a land of rocks and moorland stretches itself out into a blue-green sea. ... One of these harbours is so small and the entrance between its great stone breakwaters is so narrow that fishermen called it 'the Mousehole'. The people who lived in the cottages around the harbor grew fond of the name and they call their village Mousehole to this day. They say it in the Cornish way, 'Mowzel', but you may say it any way you choose.

"Once there lived in the village a cat
Lisa Vegan
Oct 17, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cat lovers; boys and girls who enjoy adventure stories; fans of beautiful illustrations
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
If not for the fishing and fish eating, this book would be nearly perfect for me, so 4 = 5 stars.

I love how this book makes clear who is the pet and who’s the boss. The cat is in charge, naturally, and has a man as her pet, and worries when her children can’t seem to control their humans as well as they should. Ha! Perfect.

This is a moving story about a cat and his man who save their community from starvation, and it’s an enthralling story. It involves courage and danger and adventure, and cat
Jul 28, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoy a small fishing town, as seen through a cat's eyes! This wonderful books shares life and events from Mowzer's perspective. Mowzer is an sweet black/white tabby cat who lives with a fisherman named Tom. both have seen their share of things over the years and when a terrible storm hits their harbor and the village begins to go hungry it is up to these two to save the day!

I really, really loved the point of view. It is just the right amount of humor to add to a real life situation. From raisi
Sep 17, 2011 Hannah rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hannah by: Kathryn
Shelves: 2011-reads
What a wonderful little children's story book!

Based on a true event in the history of Mousehole (pronounced "Mowzel"), Cornwall, this beautifully illustrated story is so fitting for those of us (young and old) who adore cats, Cornwall, and a wee bit of history.

Thanks go to my GR friend Kathryn, whose lovely review inspired me to read a children's book after a 12 year hiatus (I really miss reading to my girl) :(

You can read her review here:

In conclusion, I
Nov 06, 2011 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Elderly cat saves the day!
Nov 14, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a heartwarming tale of a man and his cat. The narrative is magical, old fashioned, and somewhat melancholy and the illustrations evoke an older, nostalgic time. We enjoyed reading this book together.
A really beautiful book for children, such lovely pictures!
Oct 26, 2008 A rated it it was amazing
The Mousehole Cat (Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award, UK, 1993)

Intended age group: 5-8

An a brave cat and her pet fisherman risk their lives to save their village from starvation.

Based on a Cornish legend from the seacoast town of Mousehole, this read-aloud story is best for children with long attention spans who enjoy the experience of immersion in pictures and words. When the fishermen of Mousehole cannot take their boats to sea due to a raging storm, Old Tom and his faithful cat, Mowzer,
Nov 30, 2012 Nicole rated it liked it
This is a story about a fisherman named Tom and his cat named Mowzer. There are reversing roles in the story as the cat Mowzer is the owner of the man Tom. Usually in stories animals are the pets and humans are the owners. There are many references in the story as humans being pets to cats as Mowzer explains that her children have human pets too but they are not as well behaved as her pet Tom.

The story is told from the perspective of Mowzer and is set in a small village in Cornwall. Mowzer expla
Feb 01, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
The Mousehole Cat was a pretty long story, and I have to admit, I'm particularly surprised at how long it held my nephew's attention. He's only four, so I did not expect him to listen to this story at all. He tuned in and out, left and came back, so by no means did he hear the entire story. But he heard a lot of it, and looked at lots of the picutres, so I have to assume that *something* about this book hooked him.

I really don't have a good sense of my niece's impression of The Mousehole Cat. S
Hulaimat Iyabo
Dec 08, 2012 Hulaimat Iyabo rated it it was amazing
Set in the Cornish village of Mousehole, this book tells the story of Mowzer the cat and her human, old Tom. Tom is a well-behaved human and looks after Mowzer, making sure that she is well kept and cooking her favourite fish dishes.

One terrible winter, the Great Storm-Cat came raging along the coast of Mousehole, preventing all the fishing boats from going out to sea. Because the fishermen could not fish, there was no more food for the villagers to eat. One day, Tom and Mowzer decide to brave
Sep 22, 2014 Michi rated it liked it
I came across this book on the 1001 Children's Books list (what can I say, I like lists) and it is actually surprisingly well-written and downright exciting for a book aimed at such a young audience. It isn't repetitive or annoying, it has an actual plot that includes funny bits (for instance making it very clear that the cat is in charge in this cat-human relationship), excitement and even a rather touching, heartwarming scene when the old fisherman decides to sail out and save his starving vil ...more
This is an extraordinary book not only well-written but beautifully illustrated. The story is told from the cat's point of view.
It is the story of a cat names Mowzer who lives with her human Tom, an old fisherman, in a coastal English village names Mousehole. Life is good in this small village until one day the "storm-cat" arrives and the subsequent storm prevents the fishing boats from leaving the harbor. Food supplies dwindle and the villagers are threatened so Tom and Mowzer take to sea. The
Oct 18, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite children's book, because the illustrations are wonderful and I really like the story.
Feb 18, 2013 Georgina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully descriptive and illustrated book for young children and adults alike. I've been fortunate to visit Mousehole and it really is a beautiful place.
Nov 06, 2016 Thabata rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, cat-books
In "The Mousehole Cat", an old and simple fisherman lives alone in a cottage with his older cat. She has had many kittens, but now, like the old man, she has no one. It is a beauty to observe how strong and tender their bond and friendship is. When the sea storms uninterruptedly and the small community has no more fish to eat, there they go to sea in search of food for the village. This is a folktale to warm the heart and bring a sweet smile to the face of the reader. for cat lovers who understa ...more
Jennifer Foeller
This is a fairly wordy picture book, my 6 year old had the attention span for it but a year or so ago she wouldn't have. It's a nice story and the illustrations are charming. It's about an old man and an old cat who go out to sea in a storm to catch fish for their village.
Jan 03, 2017 Heidi rated it really liked it
A little wordy for my 3 year old, but my older child and myself truly enjoyed the story and artwork. A little glimpse
Jan 07, 2017 Adele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A surprise Christmas present - this is a beautiful picture book and a charming tale from my favourite Cornish village
Jan 03, 2017 Amy rated it it was amazing
Fun story, set in Cornwall, UK at Christmas time. We watched the animated version of the picture book.
Dec 24, 2016 Louise rated it really liked it
I remember this from primary school and came across it again by chance on a radio show.
Aug 30, 2013 Zara rated it it was amazing
This is a timeless Cornish fable based in Mousehole (pronounced Mowzel), written beautifully and romantically by Antonia Barber. The book is based on a cat, Mowzer, and her owner Tom, a fisherman, who have takes good care of Mowzer and they live off a beautiful varied menu of fresh fish. With Christmas approaching, there is a bad storm caused by Great Storm Cat and 'the fishing boats sat safe as mice in their own mousehole', being the harbour wall. The only problem was that they were not safe ou ...more
This is a lovely rendition of a traditional Cornish tale. This is not a picturebook but rather a book with pictures (illustrated book) yet both the text and the images work nicely together to bring the story to life. I particularly liked the Great Storm-Cat.
When I read it, I got the feeling that no word was wasted or made too difficult. It has a nice, repeating rhythm to it which feels almost as warm and comforting as Mowzer herself. I also thought it interesting telling the story from Mowser's
Feb 15, 2016 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Mousehole Cat” looked unique so I borrowed it from friends. It was published in 1990 by Antonia Barber, of whom I had not heard. She appears to be famous for a ghost novel, which I am now determined to obtain! This story is set in Cornwall, a place I have luckily visited in recent years; or a prairie girl like me would visualize with difficulty what a slipway and ocean wall are. I pictured their safe haven with ease, a wall entrance they call “mousehole”. Accordingly, a dangerous tempest in ...more
Lee Broderick
Review from

Antonia Barber has had a second home in Mousehole since the 1980’s. There are few things Mousehole’s more famous for in Cornwall than Tom Bawcock’s Eve and so it should come as no surprise that an author residing there for any length of time should hear the tale. Here, Barber reworks the legend as a short story for reading with small children, beautifully illustrated by Nicola Bayley.

In Barber’s version, the story is told from the point of view of Mowz
Sep 10, 2016 Graziella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've bought this book while visiting Mousehole and started reading it while sitting on a bench overlooking the little port! Loved this little gem of a book! Such a sweet precious story! What made it better is that when you visit Mousehole you will find that the locals take very very good care of what they call their "village" cats!
Samantha Maclean
Sep 08, 2013 Samantha Maclean rated it really liked it
The Mousehole Cat is a Cornish folktale which is both beautifully written and beautifully illustrated. The story is written from the point of view of Mowzer the cat and his owner Tom, a fisherman. When a 'storm-cat' stops the fisherman from going out fishing, Tom and Mowzer brave the sea in an attempt to catch enough fish to feed the village and stop them starving.

This book is best suited for KS2 aged children and can be used in a variety of ways such as Literacy, Citizenship for the understand
Mar 20, 2010 Hazel rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: must-own
I know for a fact my little friend Laptop would love this book! Although, he might be more likely to think of himself as the "Great Storm Cat".

This story was inspired by the Cornish Legend of Tom Bawcock. It is set in Mousehole or as it is pronounced in Cornish "Mowzel", a small fishing village with a harbor so small that it is called "the Mousehole" by the fishermen.

It is a wonderful story told by Tom's cat, Mowzer.
The illustrations are wonderful and the story is very sweet.
I love the imagery
May 09, 2015 Logan rated it really liked it
I saw greeting cards in York bookstore with the lovely illustrations from this book and I noted down the title to look up when I got home. It's about one of Logan's great passions: cats. Particularly a cat named Mowser who lives in the tidy port town of Mousehole ("They say it in the Cornish way, 'Mowzel," but you may say it as you choose"). When a storm comes and the fisherman are unable to fish, Mowzer & her elderly owner set out to fish for the town. Mowzer sings a caterwauling siren's so ...more
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Antonia Barber really knows about ballet - her daughter studied ballet from the age of three and attended the Royal Ballet School junior associate classes at Sadler's Wells. Antonia is well-known for such best-selling picture books as The Mousehole Cat (with Nicola Bailey) and Catkin (with J P Lynch). Her novel, The Amazing Mr Blunden, was runner-up for the Carnegie Medal. Antonia lives in Kent.
More about Antonia Barber...

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