B is for Beacon: A Great Lakes Lighthouse Alphabet
- Illustrator: Renée Graef
- Published by Sleeping Bear Press
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.
Gr 2–4—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.
—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
It is a coffee table book for small children, older children and curious adults. Wilbur achieves this feat by having a simple rhyme for each letter of the alphabet but including much, much more. Each letter also has three or four paragraphs written in sparse but very informative prose. It is short enough to read it to a younger child; it is informative enough to whet the reader’s appetite to find out more.”
Manhattan Book Review