LIGHTSHIP BY BRIAN FLOCA

Lightship
Lightship
Item# ISBN 978-1416924364
$16.99

Lightships--floating lighthouses--were retired in 1983, but they live on in Floca's handsome picture book, which uses simple words and repeated phrases to emphasize the vessels' purpose and uniqueness as well as their day-to-day operation. "Here is a ship that holds her place," begins the text, which takes children on a sensory tour of the Ambrose, complete with the slapping of the waves on the hull, the rocking motion of the ship, the smell of the sea and of fuel, and--in one climactic blast that sends the ship's cat leaping straight up into the air--the sounding of the foghorn. Meanwhile, the ink-and-watercolor illustrations offer close-ups of the crew at work as well as wide, double-page scenes of passing ships (including the SS Ardizzone). Varied in composition and perspective, the art shows the little ship inside and out, in summer and winter, in calm and stormy weather. Some pictures include elements of humor, while other scenes are notable for their quiet beauty. Floca explains in an informative note that before it was possible to build platforms in deep water, lightships served as floating lighthouses, using powerful lights and blaring foghorns to signal other ships. From the endpapers, showing a cutaway view of the ship, to the final phrase, "the lightship holds her place," this handsome book respects both its subject and its audience. Hardcover 48 pages