cover image LIGHTHOUSE: A Story of Remembrance

LIGHTHOUSE: A Story of Remembrance

Robert N. Munsch, Janet Wilson, , illus. by Janet Wilson. . Scholastic/Cartwheel, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-439-49031-3

Sentiment runs high in Munsch's (We Share Everything! ) carefully paced paper-over-board tale. It opens with deliberate mystery, as a child named Sarah, with a flower tucked behind her ear, awakens her sleeping father. When he protests, the determined girl persists, "You always told me how Grandpa used to take you out to the lighthouse in the middle of the night, and this is the middle of the night, and tonight is the night to take me." Her father consents and, following the route that he and his father took, drives his daughter through the fog to the lighthouse, at the top of which Sarah asks, "Can Grandpa see me?" She shouts his name, but when he does not answer, Sarah waits a long time, then "took the flower from her hair, the flower she had saved from her grandfather's funeral, and threw it way out over the ocean." The girl follows up this cathartic act by declaring that she will someday bring her own child to the same spot in the middle of the night. While most of Wilson's (In Flanders Fields ) grainy-textured oil paintings are somewhat static, they do include affecting images of father and daughter, and among the more poignant touches is Sarah's bedside photo, viewed on the last page, showing her father in boyhood with Grandpa at the lighthouse. This gentle story may encourage youngsters who have experienced the death of a loved one to share their feelings, too. All ages. (Nov.)