Once, lightships anchored on waters across America, on the oceans and in the Great Lakes, floating where lighthouses could not be built. Smaller than most ships, but more steadfast, too, they held their spots, through calm and storm, to guide sailors toward safe waters.
In these pages one lightship and her crew (and cat) again hold their place. The crew goes again from bow to stern, from keel to mast, to run their engines, shine their lights, and sound their horns.
They run the small ship that guides the large ships. They are the crew (and cat) that work to make the ocean safe, that hold their place, so other ships can sail.
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 2—Lightships were anchored where lighthouses could not be built. They protected our ocean harbors as well as points along the Great Lakes. The last one was decommissioned in 1983, so this fascinating picture book is a piece of nautical history. Floca's watercolor drawings depict daily life aboard one of these vessels, cooking, sleeping, working, all the while rolling with the rhythm of the waves. There were many hazards involved. Big ships came too close, anchors lost their mooring, and weather caused many problems. But when the fog rolled in, the lightship sprang into action. Lights flashed and horns sounded, allowing ship traffic to make it "through fog and night, past rocks and shoals, past reefs and wrecks, past danger." The drawings are very detailed. Some pages are collages of small scenes. Many are full spreads. The sailors' facial expressions are amusing to watch, and the resident cat appears on almost every page. The front and back endpapers show a cutaway view of one of the vessels. This fascinating, little-known slice of history should prove interesting to every child who loves big boats.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI