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The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge [Paperback]

Hildegarde H. Swift
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 12.00
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Book Description

April 1 2003 Reading Rainbow Book
On the Manhattan bank of the Hudson River, a small lighthouse--made of steel and painted bright red--proudly protects boats with his faithful beam. One day a great expanse of gray steel, which also shines a bright light into the fog and darkness, is built over it. The little red lighthouse feels insignificant and useless in comparison but soon learns that . . . small can be mighty!

A portion of the sales from this book will be donated to the Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse education and outreach programs.

Frequently Bought Together

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge + Little Nino's Pizzeria
Price For Both: CDN$ 20.33

  • Little Nino's Pizzeria CDN$ 9.50

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Product Details

Product Description


Praise for the original hardcover edition:
"Told in the age-old rhythmic style of folklore, this story of modern times is unusually successful."--Saturday Review
"Magnificent drawings . . . drawn with real understanding of childhood."--The New York Times
"[A] well-loved story."--Publishers Weekly

About the Author

HILDEGARDE H. SWIFT (1890-1977) wrote several books for children. Best known for The Railroad to Freedom, which was cited for a Newbery Honor, Ms. Swift spent her life recording the lives of heroic Americans. The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge is her most popular picture book.

LYND WARD (1905-1985) illustrated more than two hundred books for children and adults throughout his prolific career. Winner of the Caldecott Medal for his watercolors in The Biggest Bear, Mr. Ward was also famous for his wood engravings, which are featured in museum collections throughout the United States and abroad.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Once upon a time a little lighthouse was built on a sharp point of the shore by the Hudson River. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Bob Keeshan died yesterday and those of us trying to salve the ache of having a key pillar of our youth pass away having been thinking back on and talking about what made "Captain Kangaroo" the "Sesame Street" of its day. In addition to Mr. Greenjeans and Bunny Rabbit, there were the classic children's books that were read to us by the Captain. On a list of beloved books that includes "Make Way for Ducklings," "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel," and "Ping," there is also "The Little Red Lighthouse and Great Gray Bridge." So far everybody I have been talking to about Captain Kangaroo has remembered the book and every one of them has driven under the George Washington Bridge in New York City and seen the Little Red Lighthouse that stands watching over the Hudson River.
I think "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Gray Bridge," written by Hildegard Hoyt Swift and illustrated by Lynd Ward, is arguably the most significant of the books we first "read" on "Captain Kangaroo." I have two reasons for this. The first is the powerful metaphor for young children that something little can still be important in a world where some things are much bigger. The second is that the story is "true," in the very real sense that you can see the great gray bridge and see the little red lighthouse, which is never ever going to be torn down just because of this book. The idea that stories can be true is a very important idea for young readers to absorb. I would add the idea that just because something is bigger and newer it is not better, but that certainly would be showing my age, would it not?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From generation to generation... a classic... March 19 2003
I wrote my original review of this book on October 2, 1997 (I'm listed as "A reader from the Bronx"). My review still stands, of course (Why should it change? The book's magnificent). As I'd fervently wished for, the copy of this book that my parents gave me when I was 5 is now my four-year-old son's favorite book. He sleeps with it, in fact.
When I was 6, my parents took me to the famous lighthouse, and took a series of pictures that still hangs on my wall. My parents and I are planning soon to recreate that trip, take the same pictures... only with my own son in them now. All of this inspired by a wonderful book that still lives on as a classic childrens' fable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic..... Jan. 25 2003
"Once upon a time a little lighthouse was built on a sharp point of the shore by the Hudson River. It was round and fat and red. It was fat and red and jolly. And it was VERY, VERY PROUD. Behind it lay New York City where the people lived..." The little red lighthouse was very quiet by day, watching all the ships and people traveling up and down the river. But by night, it was very busy flashing its lights and ringing its bell to keep the ships away from the rocks and danger. "It felt big and useful and important. What would the boats do without me? it thought." Then one day, everything began to change. Workmen came and dug and dug. Enormous steel girders began to rise over the little lighthouse, and huge, heavy cables were strung between the girders. A great gray bridge grew overhead, spanning the river from shore to shore. It made the little lighthouse feel very small and unimportant..... Originally published in 1942, award winning author Hildegarde Swift's, The Little Red Lighthouse And The Great Gray Bridge is as heartwarming and entertaining today, as it was over sixty years ago. Her engaging text, with its happily-ever-after ending, is complemented by Lynd Ward's charming, playful, and expressive illustrations, and together word and art send a simple message that won't be lost on young children...size doesn't equal importance. Perfect for youngsters 3-7, The Little Red Lighthouse And The Great Gray Bridge includes a fascinating afterword on the back cover about the history of the real lighthouse and bridge, portrayed in this story, to further enlighten. This is a timeless classic, to read and share now with friends and family, and future generations in the years to come. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Childhood Favorite Sept. 26 2003
By A Customer
This classic tale deals with feelings of insignificance and uselessness and has been a favorite of readers young and old for generations as it tells the story of a valuable lighthouse overshadowed by a great and new bridge and, ultimately, forgotten. This children's book inspired the reclamation and restoration of the abandoned and neglected Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse, which today is once again handsome and open for public tours. There are a number of Web sites specific to Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse and the construction of the Bridge for those interested in more information about either. Visiting these sites may serve as an effective way to introduce young readers to the computer and the Internet...
During my childhood, I passed by the Lighthouse coming and going to my grandmother's home in Brooklyn. The last time I saw it (as an adult), was several years ago through a telescope atop the World Trade Center.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This went over BIG
Thank you for carrying this book. I gave this book to a lady in our organization, who also looks after her Grandchildren. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2003 by "catherine4117"
5.0 out of 5 stars Even more wonderful now - 9/18/02 the lighthouse shone...
again. That's right. For all of you, like me, who loved this book as a child, the story you can share with your children is now even more wonderful. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic story, childhood favorite
This is one of the books that I remember vividly from my early childhood.
It came with a 45rpm record that you could read along with, but I've never been able to find a CD or... Read more
Published on Sept. 10 2001 by S. Jentsch
5.0 out of 5 stars A NYC legend with universal appeal
This was one of my favorite stories as a child. Recently my group at work passed the lighthouse on a boat trip. I was still able to tell the story almost word for word. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars fond memories of the city I grew up in
As a child in The Bronx, we visited the Little Red Lighthouse and this story paints a great picture of progress and the way it affects our lives. Read more
Published on March 24 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite book for almost 40 years!
There is nothing better than sharing a piece of your childhood with your children. This book, with its sounds and style, has been my favorite since I was two, and now is a... Read more
Published on Aug. 20 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic memories from my childhood...
In my youth, I borrowed this book from the library so many times that my parents finally bought it for me. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 1997
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic children's book. Not to be missed.
This is one of the fondest books of my childhood -- along with _Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel_. Read more
Published on June 8 1997
5.0 out of 5 stars The Little Lighthouse That Could...
The publication date says 1988, but I remember this book from my childhood and would recommend it to anyone with children. Read more
Published on Dec 10 1996
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