The Little Lamp
Dave Dellecese, Author
Ada Konewki, Illustrator
Dandy Press, Fiction, Feb. 12, 2019
Suitable for Ages: 4-7
Themes: Lamp, Love, Purpose, Obsolete, Resilience, Re-purpose, Rhyme
Opening: In a tiny brick apartment, / at Jasper Drive and Main, / Lived the custest little couple / Known as Jack and Jane McShane.
Little Lamp shines his light on the Jane and Jack McShane. A gift from Gramma, it always sits on a table while they read books in the evening and sip their tea. When they have their first child, Little Lamp is beside them as they play and read books to Baby. At night time he watches the baby sleep. Little Lamp is very happy.
Then one day Jack McShane brings home a big, shiny lamp. Little Lamp is sad when he’s taken to the cold basement and set on a top shelf next to cans of paint and old boxes. Years later, the McShanes clean the house and set Little Lamp out with the trash. He begins to doubt himself and doesn’t feel very useful. Then he hears the rumble of the garbage truck. What will be Little Lamp’s fate?
Why I like this book:
Dave Dellecese has written a heartwarming story about a little lamp that manages to deal with change in its life and still find purpose no matter the challenges. There are many teachable moments for children to learn about disappointment, doubt, change, self-worth, hope and optimism — all presented in the tale of Little Lamp.
Dellecese uses clever rhyming and word play to emphasize his main theme to children, “Everyone has a purpose.” The characters are memorable, and Little Lamp is so expressive and adorable.
Ada Konewki’s bold illustrations are expressive, charming and compliment Little Lamp’s story. The art is happy and colorful when it needs to be, and a bit somber when Little Lamp’s fate is unknown.
Resources: Purpose is a big word for children. Parents and educators may want to first focus on what matters most to a child. Help them think about their own best qualities. Ask questions about whether they have a good relationships with their family and friends. Do they care about others? Do they remember a time when they have made a difference? Have they made someone’s day brighter with a hug or a fist full of flowers? Do they offer to help an elderly neighbor by walking their dog? These simple questions will help kids think about how they may make their own contribution to the world.
Dave Dellecese writes a variety of books and comic books, and blogs about parenthood at The Dorky Daddy He lives in central New York with his wife, kids and cats — all but his wife dictating his sleep patterns. Find out more and contact Dave at his website.
*Review copy provided by the author.