Friday, April 12, 2013

The Lighthouse Family

The Lighthouse Family is a series of five early-reader books by one of my favorite authors Cynthia Rylant.  It is illustrated by Preston McDaniels.

There is a lighthouse overlooking the sea and a family of five lives beneath it. Pandora the cat and Seabold the dog find three orphaned mice children and take them in. Their names are Whistler, Tiny and Lila. Read about their adventures in meeting new creatures, and see how they learn to give help to, and receive help from, others.

In the book, The Turtle, the Lighthouse Family helps Aurora the turtle, who was traveling to see the Northern Lights (after whom she was named) but became very tired and weary because of the long journey. With the help of some pelicans, Aurora returns home safely.

In The Octopus, Whistler and Lila explore an estuary  during low tide.  There they encounter a young octopus named Cleo who was caught in a hole. Whistler assured him that there wasn't anything to worry about because when the tide comes in, it will carry him back out to sea. As Cleo waited, Whistler and Lila kept him company. The next day, Cleo came to visit the Lighthouse with his parents, and together they shared lunch with the whole Lighthouse family. "Everything was good this day. It was always good to make new friends."

Other books in the series are The Storm (the first book), The Eagle, and The Whale.

This family-oriented series is about friendship, loyalty, hospitality, and generosity.  These values are embodied by the characters themselves, and the stories will enrich your children's understanding of how to live out the same values in their lives.

(The illustrations in the hardcover books are much more vibrant than in the paperback books. They almost have a 3D affect.  Because the illustrations are so amazing, it really does enhance the story. If you can choose which ones to read, choose the hardcover.)

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