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The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge
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The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,116 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Lighthouses have guided sailors, adventurers, and dreamers throughout the world for centuries. And a very important lighthouse stands tucked beneath the great gray span of the George Washington Bridge on the Hudson River. This timeless and thoroughly charming story reveals how the proud little red lighthouse learned that even though it was very small, it was still mighty. ...more
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published September 24th 1942 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1942)
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One of many favorite books we discovered thanks to Reading Rainbow*. Straightening books in the back room and my eyes fell on this. A charming tale about realizing size has nothing to do with importance or usefulness. A fun book to read aloud due to repetitive words and sound effects. And best of all it is based on a real lighthouse and bridge in New York.

*A brief check showed me RR has now become digital with a Skybrary.
Brian James
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'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.'

This is the story of the last remaining lighthouse on Manhattan Island in New York City, a place once home to many such lighthouses. In the classic picture book tradition, this functional object is imbued with the friendly qualities equal to its usefulness. The reader cheers for the heroic lighthouse and fears for
Published in 1942, this tells, in a rather inventive way, the story of the little red lighthouse which still stands proud beneath the George Washington Bridge. Originally there, pre-bridge, as a guide for those sailing the Hudson River, the personified lighthouse feels obsolete with the dawn of the great Bridge but finds that it is far from redundant and still needed by the people of New York. Together, Bridge and Lighthouse are there as guides throughout the night to the boats of the water and ...more
Eva Kelly
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So OK. Here's another subject of books I love: things that are things but are like people in stories. Like Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, and this one. It's about a little red lighthouse (cause that's the NAME! HA!) and the lighthouse keeps everyone safe, but one day they build a big bridge over him and he gets sad because he can't help people anymore. But just when he thinks he's ruined, guess what? They come and put his light on so he WORKS again! And they all live happily ever after!
Scott L.
This is an amazing book. I first heard it read on the "Captain Kangaroo" show in the mid 1960's - and loved it so much I asked my parents to buy it for me. They did, and now I have bought it for my daughter, my nephew and my niece. And the best part is that the Little Red Lighthouse is still there, on Manhattan under the "great gray bridge" - the George Washington Bridge. A wonderfully imaginative book that I would recommend to anyone who has children to read to.
Particularly fun for children living in New York or new Jersey who regularly commute over the GW bridge.
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I didn't read this until my husband introduced me to it as an adult (it was one of his childhood favorites). Now I can't look at the GW without thinking about the little red lighthouse below.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I totally did not tear up at the end of this book. >.>

I envision a lot of little nieces and nephews getting copies of this for birthdays/Christmas.
The George Washington Bridge connecting New York (via Manhatten) to New Jersey (Fort Lee) is built in this simple story, which is told from the perspective of a little red lighthouse who is overshadowed by it. I can see why the story would appeal to natives of NYC, for whom the author personifies these landmarks, but the story wasn't as powerful to us midwesterners. Also, the narration neither gives the name of structures nor seeks to connect with their actual history. In this way, it is more wh ...more
J L's Bibliomania
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
We regularly drive over the George Washington Bridge, and my husband has told us the story and we've looked for the lighthouse, but I only sought out The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge: Restored Editionat the prompting of 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. My kids are past the age where this would be a hit, but I wish I had taken the time to find it when they were aged 4-6 and obsessed with boats and transportation. If your child loves classics like Mike Mul ...more
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