The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge: 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.
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge
This sweet, inspiring story centers on a little lighthouse with a big job to keep boats safe on the Hudson River. The job suddenly feels unimportant when a large gray steel bridge is built above the lighthouse.
However, when dangerous weather arises, the lighthouse realizes that it is still needed. Readers of all ages are reminded that we all have value and can find purpose in small, seemingly insignificant tasks…just like a little lighthouse under a large bridge on the banks of the Hudson River.
We love the watercolor illustrations by Lynd Ward that accompany the text of this slightly longer picture book.
Recommended Age: 4+
Be sure to look up the real landmarks! You can find photos online of the George Washington Bridge with Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse directly under it and can read about how the story helped save the lighthouse from being dismantled.
About the Author & Illustrator
Hildegarde Hoyt Swift (1890-1977) wrote several books for children. Best known for The Railroad to Freedom, which was cited for a Newbery Honor in 1933, M. 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.
A Few Reviews
“I bought this book for my grand-neice (9 years old) after she attended a wedding where her uncle and his bride were photographed after the wedding ceremony standing on the Palisades overlooking he GW Bridge, and I was able to point out the lighthouse to her. She said she had never seen the book before and it became a treasure of her trip to New York City. It was one of my favorite stories when I was growing up because it describes the importance of some one or some thing that is often overlooked because it is small or out of the way, yet serves an important function in the community.” —Amazon Reviewer Warren in Chestertown MD
“I purchased two copies of this wonderful book – one for myself and the other as a gift for a Bulgarian friend who asked me for some English books.I read this beautiful story to my children many times over the years. The week before I ordered them, I was returning to the RV park I work at during the camping season with two exchange students who arrived at JFK International Airport from Slovakia. We stopped at an overlook on the Palisades Parkway in New Jersey, and for the very first time, I finally saw The Little Red Lighthouse, hidden under the HUGE George Washington Bridge.
This beautifully-written story has even more of an impact on me now. Being a lighthouse lover, and in spite of being a children’s book, I really teared up – again – during the reread. The reprint has been vastly updated, and reading just how and when the artist sketched the tiny, red light, simply adds to the story, as it came about shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After both 9/11 and the Pearl harbor tragedy, all military structures were off-limits. In 1942 – this innocuous light was part of the US Army Corps of Engineers. No one was permitted to go near it. Lynd Ward, aware that photos were forbidden, found a myriad of different ways to sketch it for the cherished picture book he illustrated and Hildegard H Swift, penned.. A road trip is in order to visit this building, now on the National Register of Historic Places” —Amazon Reviewer TravlynWomyn