B is for Beacon
A Great Lakes Lighthouse Alphabet
The Great Lakes, with the rivers, canals, and channels that connect them, form one of the busiest waterways in the world. Lighthouses were needed to secure the safety of ships over these freshwater seas. But over the hundreds of years since the first lighthouse was established on the Great Lakes in 1781, these structures have come to represent something beyond their initial navigational function. Often situated on remote and beautiful shorelines, lighthouses hold a special fascination for people, serving as symbols of courage, perseverance, safety, and comfort. B is for Beacon: A Great Lakes Lighthouse Alphabet uses poetry and expository text in this alphabetical exploration of the history of lighthouses on the Great Lakes, detailing famous structures, local lore, as well as notable moments in Great Lakes history.
|Interest Level||Grade 1 - Grade 4|
|Reading Level||Grade 4|
|ATOS Reading Level||7.0|
|Guided Reading Level||S|
|Publisher||Sleeping Bear Press|
|Available Formats||Hardcover (9781585369164), PDF (9781634707893), Hosted ebook (9781634708012)|
|Number of Pages||32|
|Dimensions||11 x 9|
School Library Journal - B is for Beacon
In this alphabet book, in which X marks the spot, each letter is represented by a poem that is paired with a few paragraphs of facts. Some letters stretch to make lighthouses a part of their domain (F is for Festivals, N is for November), but there is at least one illustration of a lighthouse on each spread. A lot of facts can be gleaned from this informational picture book. The poetry flows nicely, for the most part. Illustrations are finely executed and tend toward the dark. VERDICT An additional purchase, especially appropriate for audiences living in the vicinity of the Great Lakes, as well as lighthouse devotees.
Author: Helen L. Wilbur
A former librarian, Helen L. Wilbur spent many years in the world of publishing. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University.
Helen’s award-winning children’s books include Finnegan and Fox: The Ten-Foot Cop (2014 Bank Street Best Books of the Year for Children, 2013 Creative Child Seal of Excellence Award), Lily’s Victory Garden (2011 Storytelling World Resource Honor Award: Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners Category, 2011 IRA Teacher’s Choices Reading List – Primary Category), Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet (2009 Mom’s Choice Award) and M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet (a 2007 ASPCA Henry Bergh Honor Book).
She shares her writing experiences at conferences, schools, and libraries. Helen lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and spends her summers in the mountains of New Hampshire. Read more about her at helenwilbur.com.
Illustrator: Renée Graef
Renée Graef and her children spent many of her birthdays walking the 990-foot breakwater to reach the Port Washington Lighthouse. She has illustrated over 80 books for children including T is for Time; D is for Dala Horse: A Nordic Countries Alphabet; the “Kirsten” books in the American Girl Collection; and many of the My First Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Renée splits her time between Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles, California. Learn more about her work at www.reneegraef.com.
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