Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Lightship Book Poster Image
Award-winner about life on a floating lighthouse.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows what daily life is like on one of these boats.

Positive Messages

The sailors demonstrate unqualified commitment to their jobs.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book focuses on daily life on a Lightboat where sailors are portrayed as simply dedicated to their job of keeping other boats safe.

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What's the story?

Life on a floating light house is conveyed effectively and simply.

Is it any good?

Parents whose kids love planes and trains and things that go will welcome this excellent factual picture book. Kids will especially love the tiny details about daily life. From the wave-warped hallways to the claustrophobic living quarters, the book manages to accurately convey how these dedicated sailors at sea for months at a time experienced their jobs without ever being boring.

The prose is simple, clear, and understated, supported by detailed illustrations that let kids peek at details on the boat including its machinery, the wheel, and even their laundry hung out to dry on deck. A dramatic picture of the tiny, shining boat warning an awesome ocean liner is sure to give kids a satisfactory thrill.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to live on the ocean. What would it be like not to see land for a long, long time? Would it be lonely? Would the sailors ever get on each other's nerves living in such close quarters? Parents and kids could even build a pretend ship and imagine being sailors themselves.

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