Wild Reading 06/07/20
Publisher: Orchard Books
A red and white lighthouse stands amid a changing sea: in winter, it ices over, and seals play on the surface. Icebergs and whales pass by, and storms shipwreck sailors. Within the lighthouse, the new keeper comes to replace the old. He tends the light inside the lighthouse, paints the rooms, writes in the logbook and waits for his wife. When she arrives, they are soon joined by a baby, and eventually move to a cottage on the shore, where they can watch the sunsets over the lighthouse that was their cosy home.
Sophie Blackall won the Caldecott Medal in the US for Hello Lighthouse and it’s easy to see why. Her artwork and draughtsmanship is stunning, full of detail and colour. Pages such as the one featuring a cutaway of the lighthouse with its seven tiers – light, study, bedroom, dining room, store room and entrance, as well as water stores set deep in the rock – are full of amazing detail to spot.
It’s also a book detailing the passing of time, from the circular spread showing the keeper’s pregnant wife pacing a circle to the passing of the seasons in the weather outside. A lovely, eye-catching book that children will pore over, caught up in its magic.