Book Review: The Abandoned Lighthouse

The Abandoned Lighthouse by Albert Lamb and David McPhail (illustrator). 2011.

This book may be named for the lighthouse, but it is the rowboat that will pique readers’ curiosity.

A bear finds a boat and accidentally floats away.  A boy and his dog do the same thing.  All three end up at an abandoned lighthouse together, where they catch some fish, cook dinner, and lay down for the night.  Soon they are awakened by a storm just in time to see a large ship coming straight for the lighthouse.  The boy and the bear work together to light the lamp which guides the ship onto a safer course.  In the morning, the bear, the boy, and the dog take the rowboat back to their homes, and the ship reaches its destination without incident.  The rowboat drifts in the sea, open to the possibilities of the tides.

This 32-page book is about the size of an early reader.  The spare text is easy to read, and the illustrations, which also have a spare-ness to them, pair with the narrative well.  There is a mystical quality to the story that raises more questions than it answers.  It won’t be every reader’s cup of tea, but it may have kids dreaming up their own adventures.  While this book can be read as a simple story, it might also be an opportunity for independent readers to explore a dreamlike world where coincidences happen and kids and animals can save the day.

Blogger: Mindy R.