The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

by Hildegarde Swift

Hardcover, 1981



Call number




Harcourt (1981)


A little lighthouse on the Hudson River regains its pride when it finds out that it is still useful and has an important job to do.

User reviews

LibraryThing member stevekep32
A classic story about how everyone has purpose. The little red lighthouse is impressed by the gray bridge, but feels he has been replaced. A storm come and the only one who can save the boats is the little red lighthouse.
LibraryThing member Marliesd
All-time favorite children's book. I give it as a gift all the time.
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Boring, and apparently, though it pretends to be historical, it's not even accurate, according to my understanding of a note on the back cover of the edition I read.  I have enjoyed other illustrations by Ward and so I was surprised how unappealing these were.  One, of fog humanized, is not bad,
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
The Little Red Lighthouse stood on the banks of the mighty Hudson River, guiding the boats on that massive waterway as they passed the island of Manhattan. Proud of his work, the lighthouse shone his light at night and sounded his warning bell in the fog, keeping everyone safe. When the Great Gray
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Bridge is constructed right next to him, our lighthouse finds himself dwarfed, and begins to feel that he has no purpose. But when a tug-boat gets in trouble in the fog, it turns out that the lights on the bridge are too high up to be of use to those on the water. The lighthouse is needed after all...

Originally published in 1942, and a classic of American children's literature ever since, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge is one of those books I somehow missed reading as a child, and have been meaning to get to as an adult for many years. I have read author Hildegarde H Swift's Newbery Honor book, Little Blacknose: The Story of a Pioneer, but not this one, even though I have lived a few blocks from the eponymous lighthouse and bridge for a number of years. Finally, prompted by the fact that a friend an I will be visiting both this coming weekend, I picked it up. How glad I am that I did. I found Swift's story poignant and her writing lovely, and I found illustrator Lynd Ward's watercolor artwork gorgeously expressive. This is definitely a book that deserves its status as a classic, and is one that I wholeheartedly recommend, to those looking for picture-books about lighthouses, about the need to feel needed, or about the utility of older, more traditional ways of doings things, even when newer ones have been invented.
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LibraryThing member raizel
The little red lighthouse feels its light is no longer needed when the great gray bridge is built, but the bridge explains that its lights are to warn airplanes, and the lighthouse's lights and bell are still needed for boats.

Mentioned in The Golems of Gotham by Thane Rosenbaum.
LibraryThing member Maydacat
This delightful tale is about a little lighthouse who is quite proud of the job it does, warning ships away from the rocky shore. When a great grey bridge is built, with a much stronger light, the lighthouse believes it has been replaced. But the moral of the story is that there is a place for both
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kinds of light and both are needed. The book is filled with many wonderful illustrations which add immensely to the enjoyment of the story. Though written in 1942, it still should appeal to children today.
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LibraryThing member LibrarianRyan
This book is more than twice my age. Heck even the reprint I was reading was older than I am. But the story holds up. Even the artwork, ,while dated, still tells the story of the little red lighthouse who thought his proud days of helping boats was over because of the big steel bridge. It makes me
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wonder if now, almost 80 years later, that lighthouse is still standing?
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Original publication date



0590758209 / 9780590758208

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