PEPPE THE LAMPLIGHTER by Elisa Bartone

PEPPE THE LAMPLIGHTER

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 At a time when streetlamps are lit by hand, Peppe lives in New York's Little Italy. With Mamma dead, Papa ill, and seven sisters at home, times are hard; the tradespeople Peppe asks for work all turn him down. So when the lamplighter asks the boy to take his place while he goes back to Italy, Peppe is overjoyed; at first, each lamp he lights is a wish for his family--that Assunta ``learns good English in school,'' that Giulia marries well, that Nicolina finds work. But Papa is bitterly disappointed--``Did I come to America for my son to light the streetlamps?'' Discouraged, Peppe leaves the lamps dark one night, only to learn that little Assunta has depended on the light to come home. Thus Peppe regains his self-respect--and Papa's approval. The economically told narrative gracefully incorporates many details of the setting, which is also splendidly realized in Lewin's luminous paintings. Peppe's lamps shine bravely in a tenement world where both night and interiors are dark, while clothing and street scenes are also somber. Lewin's characterizations are subtle and telling; in his splendid compositions, the dramatic interplay of light and dark intensify the story's message of hope. A beautiful, moving book. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: April 26th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-10268-9
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993




MORE BY TED LEWIN

ChildrenI SEE AND SEE by Ted Lewin
by Ted Lewin
ChildrenHOW TO BABYSIT A LEOPARD by Ted Lewin
by Ted Lewin
ChildrenANIMALS WORK by Ted Lewin
by Ted Lewin

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE GREAT MOON HOAX by Stephen Krensky
by Stephen Krensky