How will a lonely boy in a lighthouse find a friend?
Caspian is a self-sufficient young boy who probably ages from 6 to 7 during the story. The opening double-page spread immediately draws readers into Caspian’s world of both natural beauty and isolation. Against a stark white background, a lighthouse sits above a sheer cliff of sand and rock. Far below and to the right, the tiny figure of Caspian is visible on a small sliver of land, gazing toward the sea. The opening words inform readers that Caspian lives in the lighthouse. Poetic lines about Caspian’s life follow: “Every day, he watches the waves, / wondering, waiting, wishing for a friend.” When he gets no results from beaming his lighthouse light, a delightful double-page sequence shows Caspian printing a message on a paper, emptying a translucent green jug of its flowers, and carefully pushing his rolled-up message into it. More lyrical text and dreamlike art follow, as Caspian sends his message out to sea, waits for months, and eventually gets a one-word response. He rows his little boat out under the night sky’s constellations, and eventually he meets up with the friend who will bear him back home. The striking, stylized art and text work perfectly together to create a whimsical, nonthreatening story that still has plenty of action and adventure—with the bonus of not one interfering grown-up. Caspian is depicted with pale skin, straight, dark hair, and dark eyes.
Bedtime or naptime perfection. (Picture book. 3-6)