LIGHTHOUSE LULLABY

Kelly Paul Briggs, Author . Down East $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-89272-486-4

Creatively composed of minuscule dots and razor-thin lines, Briggs's pointillistic, pastel-toned pictures give this gentle book its luster. Inspired by the true story of a lighthouse keeper who lived on a Maine island 100 years ago, the middling verse and intimate paintings offer a snapshot of his family's life on a seaside farm during a snowy winter. Only three scenes feature the ocean: an introductory image of the exterior of the lighthouse, the father standing guard in the lighthouse tower and, lastly, a schooner passing the lighthouse at night. More often, the volume focuses on the warmth of the farmhouse's cozy interior and the contrasting snow-filled outdoors: "Island home built snug and true/ Where the stone hearth's fire glows./ Mama bakes while Papa leaves/ To bring the flock in from the snow." Youngsters will likely be drawn to the cherubic son who accompanies his father as he ushers sheep, goats and a horse into the barn and then snuggles with both parents before settling into his quilt-covered bed. Though Briggs's poetry has a suitably lulling cadence, the rhyme scheme sometimes stumbles (e.g., home/stone; scenes/dreams). Still, this pleasing period portrait should have considerable appeal for sea lovers everywhere. Ages 4-8. (July)

Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 01/01/2001
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