This delightful series is the perfect length for introducing your young children, ages 6 and up, to chapter books. Written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Preston McDaniels, these five books contain four to six chapters each. Each book in The Lighthouse Family recounts how the characters come to find each other, what life in a lighthouse entails, and the various adventures and visitors they encounter. The lighthouse family includes Pandora, the hard-working cat, whose lonely life of lighthouse keeping is changed during a storm; Seabold, the dog sailor, who comes to find new purpose and friendship when Pandora saves his life; and three mice orphans, Whistler, Lila, and Tiny, adrift from a ship wreck. With their arrival, the once quiet life by the sea becomes a place of new discoveries and warm companionship. The tales are gentle. The vocabulary is familiar enough for young readers to enjoy the story, yet with larger words that expand the reader’s discovery. Children will enjoy hearing or reading about the other animals that the lighthouse family meets. The mice children are allowed ample room to explore and discover under the clear, gentle boundaries of Pandora and Seabold, something both children and parents will appreciate.
The kids and I enjoyed this series. Sometimes the kids would ask about a new word, which was great vocabulary expansion. There are enough illustrations to help keep my four-year-old interested. At the end of every chapter they would want to keep reading. That’s enough to make this reading mom happy, and looking for new books to read, thanks to the interest sparked by The Lighthouse Family.