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Lightship by Brian Floca


by Brian Floca

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Summary: Lightship is a nonfiction book that is told in a fictional story about a lightship holding her place. The lightship holds her place through the snow, wind, and waves, with a crew of a helmsman, oiler, engineer, deckhand, fireman, radioman, messman, cook, captain, and a cat, too. They all work together to help the ship run and hold her place, so that she can guide other ships to safety in the foggy weather.

Personal Connection: I really enjoyed reading this book, and reading up on lightships in the back of the book. I had no idea that lightships were real, and that they stood where lighthouses could not be built. I also enjoyed the diagrams, easy to read text, and bright illustrations.

-Personal website for author: http://brianfloca.com/
-Interview: http://www.spokenartsmedia.com/prod07.htm
-Robert F. Silbert Informational Book Medal, 2008
**Mentioned in class- book pass!

Application to Teaching: Although I do not have an ideal unit to use this text in, it could be supplemented in any unit that could benefit from high quality nonfiction text. It could be used to spark discussions- looking deeply at the illustrations, what job appears to be the most difficult? What season do you think is the most difficult aboard the ship? Imagine that you are aboard the ship- what would your life be like? ( )
  alliecipolla | Jul 26, 2017 |
Author-artist Brian Floca, whose other non-fiction picture-books include the Caldecott Medal-winning Locomotive, as well as the gorgeous Moonshot, turns here to the subject of lightships, small vessels that held their place in the sea, functioning as lighthouses in places where lighthouses could not be built. The text explores life on board a lightship, and looks at the various crew members and their diverse tasks, while the watercolor artwork depicts the ship and crew performing their important function in circumstances both safe and dangerous.

I'd never heard of lightships before picking up Floca's picture-book, although it makes perfect sense, now that I think about it, that mariners would need such a service. Lightship is both educational and entertaining, pairing a simple but informative text that will keep young reader/listeners engaged with appealing artwork. For my part, my favorite 'character' was the ship's cat! The decorative end-papers provide a depiction of a lightship, with all the important parts labeled, while a foreword and afterword give more detailed information, both about lightships in general, and about the sources Floca used to create his book. Recommended to all young boat and seafaring enthusiasts, and to anyone looking for children's stories that explore interesting aspects of maritime history that might otherwise not have been addressed. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 23, 2017 |
Illustrations: watercolor and ink. This book is describing what the lightship does for all other boats who may travel in the ocean. The lightship never moves in the ocean, but it lets off a beacon of light for all other ships so that it can set their path and lead them in the right direction. There is a whole crew of people on that ship that man the boat at all times. This book is informational because all of the information is true and gives the audience new information to take in and learn. Age appropriateness: primary. ( )
  allieburks | Mar 10, 2017 |
I would use this book in 1st-2nd grade as a independent read because the sea and boats can appeal to some children.
  mwilcox02 | Feb 28, 2017 |
This book could be used with a 2nd-grade class as an interactive read aloud. They would enjoy the rhythmic read of the book and some of the comedy in it, and it is a simple read. By having it read aloud they could hear the repetition and rhythm more than if they just read it themselves.
  TimGordon | Feb 25, 2017 |
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Lightships once served where lighthouses could not be built. They helped to guide sailors safely through the fog.

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