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by S. Carleton
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-The Lighthouse family consists of Pandora, the cat; Seabold, the dog; and their adopted mice children, Whistler, Lila, and baby Tiny. In this adventure, Whistler and Lila help to reunite a baby beluga whale with his mother. While the characterizations are first rate and the sense of family harmony is stressed, the story is a bit thin and some of the dialogue seems strained. To help the tiny mice with the rescue, Rylant introduces Huck, the cormorant-"a soggy old bird" with a bad attitude. McDaniels's wonderful black-and-white graphite drawings capture the personalities of each of the animals. The layout and drawings are old-fashioned without being fussy and add needed drama to a somewhat simplistic story.
Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-4. In this sequel to Rylant's first Lighthouse family story, The Storm (2002), mouse children Lila and Whistler stumble across Sebastian, a lost baby beluga whale pining for his mother. At the suggestion of their own mother, Pandora the lighthouse cat, they enlist the help of Huck, a crotchety cormorant, who flies them over the ocean to locate Sebastian's mother, Honey. Rylant's strength is her creation of appealing characters that appreciate the security of home even as they yearn for adventures within safely defined boundaries. McDaniels' frequent graphite illustrations echo the warmth and coziness of the tale and add to the book's appeal. Rylant's choice of a flowery, formal writing style may be a problem for the intended audience ("Soon they would join their larger family, amid those happy calls with which lost ones are always welcomed home"), but children who appreciate the Beatrix Potter-like language will find this a pleasant first chapter book. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Pandora, Seabold, Whistler, Lila, and Tiny have all been enjoying the love and comfort that being a family brings. It is a comfort they are unexpectedly reminded of when Whistler and Lila hear the cries of a lonely baby beluga whale named Sebastian. When they learn that he has lost his mama, the Lighthouse Family, with the help of a cranky but noble old cormorant named Huck, does all it can to bring Sebastian and his mother together again.
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