Monday, December 24, 2012

Lighthouse Christmas by Toni Buzzeo


Lighthouse Christmas 
by Toni Buzzeo
illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Library
Picture Book
2011

Book Jacket Summary

Frances is determined to make Christmas jolly for her younger brother, even if it means joining family on the mainland and leaving Papa behind on their isolated lighthouse island. After all, would Santa even know how to find them in this faraway spot? But when Christmas Eve is ushered in on a wild storm and Papa risks his life to rescue a drowning man, the children realize that the most important thing about the holiday is being together.
As in all great Christmas stories, a happy ending is in store, and Santa finds them after all. Cozy and nostalgic, this story was inspired by the Flying Santa program, a New England tradition since 1929. It's the perfect book for a family to read together in front of the fire on Christmas morning.

My Thoughts
What a sweet story about a family of lighthouse keepers on a small island at Christmas time. I never knew about the Flying Santa Service that dropped presents to those lonely families who stood guard over the lighthouse flame. This particular family is Frances, Peter, and Papa, who are new to the Ledge Lighttower and this is their first Christmas without Mama. Peter takes comfort in knowing that Christmas is two days away but Frances knows that the pantry is low on food. The supply boast has been delayed and this Christmas will not be like their last one on the main land. 
Frances and her Papa prepare for a severe storm that will delay everything even longer and they might not even have a true Christmas. They do save a man from the storm and Frances lights the wick of the lantern knowing that the Ledge Light Family is doing their best to save people. Christmas is a small but joyful affair until a package from the Flying Santa Service appears and Christmas is filled with presents and sweets.
This is a sweet book that focuses on a family that really could use a Christmas in the middle of a huge transition. Little Peter does not understand the responsibility that they have as lighthouse keepers but still tries to find the joy in Christmas. Frances is a bit more pragmatic but she is also older and in charge of feeding the family. I really liked this picture book and they family who struggle to get by. It is a great historical fiction that still resonates with readers today.  

Book Pairings
The Money We'll Save by Brock Cole 
The Magical Christmas Horse by Mary Higgins Clark


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