HELLO LIGHTHOUSE by Sophie Blackall
Kirkus Star

HELLO LIGHTHOUSE

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This tribute to lighthouses of an earlier era focuses on one lighthouse and its dedicated keeper.

Perched “on the highest rock of a tiny island / at the edge of the world,” the lighthouse shines for seafaring ships. A new keeper arrives, continuing the endless routine of polishing the lens, refilling the oil, trimming the wick, winding the clockwork, painting the round rooms, fishing, making tea, sending letters to his wife (in bottles), and writing daily in his logbook. One day, a ship delivering supplies brings the keeper’s wife! The keeper rings a warning bell in fog, rescues wrecked sailors, and logs his baby’s birth. When he’s ill, his stalwart wife tends the light and maintains the logbook. Eventually, a mechanical light replaces the keeper. While the spare, unemotional text resembles a keeper’s log, the book’s vertical orientation echoes a lighthouse tower. Rendered in Chinese ink and watercolor, precise, detailed illustrations present the lighthouse surrounded by patterned blue, green, or gray waves depending on the weather or season, reinforcing its solitary enterprise. A cutaway interior view exposes a compact, contained world. Close-ups of the keeper and his wife (both white) in porthole-shaped frames and from unusual aerial views emphasize their isolated, intimate, circular environment. An “About Lighthouses” section adds insightful detail.

A fascinating, splendidly executed peek into both the mundane and the dramatic aspects of lighthouse life. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 10th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-316-36238-2
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2018




BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2018 ABOUT HISTORY AND TRADITION:

ChildrenHELLO LIGHTHOUSE by Sophie Blackall
by Sophie Blackall
ChildrenAND THERE WAS EVENING, AND THERE WAS MORNING by Harriet Cohen Helfand
by Harriet Cohen Helfand
ChildrenAUNTIE LUCE’S TALKING PAINTINGS by Francie Latour
by Francie Latour
ChildrenPIE IS FOR SHARING by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard
ChildrenEVERY MONTH IS A NEW YEAR by Marilyn Singer
by Marilyn Singer

MORE BY SOPHIE BLACKALL

ChildrenWINNIE'S GREAT WAR by Lindsay Mattick
by Lindsay Mattick
ChildrenIVY AND BEAN ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY by Annie Barrows
by Annie Barrows
ChildrenRUNAWAY ROSA by John Bemelmans Marciano
by John Bemelmans Marciano

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenLIGHTHOUSE LULLABY by Kelly Paul Briggs
by Kelly Paul Briggs
ChildrenTHE LIGHTHOUSE CAT by Sue Stainton
by Sue Stainton
ChildrenLIGHTHOUSE CHILDREN by Syd Hoff
by Syd Hoff