cover image THE LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY: The Storm


Cynthia Rylant, , illus. by Preston McDaniels. . S&S, $14.95 (80pp) ISBN 978-0-689-84880-3

It's smooth sailing for Rylant's (the Henry and Mudge series) sweet, sea-inspired tale, first in a new series of early chapter book readers. Pandora the cat has weathered her share of rough waters, but for the past four years she has enjoyed her dream job as lighthouse keeper. Even so, she is a little weary of the isolation that comes with it. When a violent storm shipwrecks a sailor dog named Seabold practically on her beacon's doorstep, Pandora's life changes for the better. She and Seabold become great friends and caring companions. Together they take in a trio of orphaned mice, fulfilling the prophecy of the series name. The imminently likable characters magnify the cozy theme that families come in all configurations. With short chapters and the occasional dramatic moment, the text will keep young readers turning the pages—and on the lookout for future titles in the series. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)