Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Brian Floca
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2007   ISBN: 978-1416924364

There was a time when many lightships waited at anchor along America’s coastline to warn ships about underwater hazards. Unlike other ships, lightships did not “sail from port to port,” nor did they “carry passengers or mail or packages.” These ships stayed in one place, and there they waited.

The Ambrose was one of these ships, and she held her place day after day. No matter how much the ship rocked, her crew took care of her light, they manned and cared for her engines, and they made sure that she did move from her position. It was not an easy life for the crewmembers because their quarters were tight, comforts were few, and dangers had to be anticipated. No matter what happened, the Ambrose’s light had to be ready to guide ships to safety during storms and fog.

In this unique picture book, Brian Floca pays tribute to the lightships and their crews whose service saved countless ships from having potentially disastrous accidents. Floca gives us a picture of what life on one of the lightships must have been like using a lyrical text and wonderfully atmospheric illustrations.

At the back of the book, the author provides the reader with further information about lightships.

This title was one of the books chosen to receive a 2008 Robert F. Sibert Honor. The award is given yearly to the authors and illustrators who create the most meaningful informational book published in English during the preceding year.