Hello Lighthouse

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 2019

Hello Lighthouse

written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Age: 4+

Interests: ocean, lighthouses, ships, history, storms, weather, nature, occupations

Also illustrated by this author: Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Another book about life in a lighthouse: The Storm (Lighthouse Family Series)

Out in the ocean a lighthouse stands on a small rocky island. A new lighthouse keeper arrives by boat and the old one departs. In a fascinating cutaway illustration we see the rooms of the lighthouse and the new keeper busy with his various duties. He cares for the light of course, keeping the lamp lit and the wick trimmed, but there are many other jobs to fill his time, from fishing out a window to writing in the log book. His days are solitary and uneventful until – at last – the tender arrives with food, supplies, and his wife.

Together they experience many things in their windswept home. During a storm the keeper makes a daring rescue of three shipwrecked sailors. In the winter he falls ill and his wife takes over his duties until he recovers. Glaciers and whales pass by and after a time the keeper writes in the logbook about the birth of their baby.

One day, however, the coast guard arrives with a new automated lamp for the lighthouse.

No lamp to fill, no wick to trim. The keeper’s work is done.

It is the end of an era. The little family packs up, the lighthouse keeper writes his last log entry, and they say farewell to their lighthouse.

In the final illustration we see them, years later, gazing out at the lighthouse from their home on shore.

This is a gentle, beautifully illustrated story, of particular interest to those fascinated by lighthouses, of course. A message from the author in the endpapers provides extra details she unearthed during her research for this book.

An excerpt of Sophie Blackall’s Hello Lighthouse

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.