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by Ann Fearrington & illustrated by Giles Laroche

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: July 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-23703-8
Publisher: Putnam

Incredibly textured and detailed illustrations, created by a combination of drawing, painting, and cut- and torn-paper collage, enhance the simple, rhyming text in this counting book focused on lighthouses. Each spread features a beautiful portrait of a lighthouse at night, with its beam cutting the darkness, as well as the beings who observe the light: one sailor, two pilots, three seagulls, and so on, up to nine Martians. The space creatures add levity to the otherwise dark and quiet beauty of the illustrations and the refrain—“Blink—flash, flash. / Swirl around, twirl around. Who sees the light?”—although they’re a bit of a distraction since all the other scenarios are at least known to be possible. Some spreads, including one picturing five yellow-green luna moths so close to the blinding light source that the lighthouse itself isn’t visible, are truly stunning. An author’s note provides some facts on lighthouse history as well as a list of all the lighthouses featured and their geographically diverse locations. More lighthouses than readers may realize exist are listed on the endpapers, grouped by state. Those interested in further study of these historic structures will probably already know how to count, but the intricate and compelling illustrations hold interest for a wide age range. (Picture book. 4-8)