I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Sophie Blackall’s new book, HELLO LIGHTHOUSE (released April 10), and even saw it in a recent People magazine. So last week I headed to my library and snagged a brand new copy from the rolling “To Be Shelved” cart before it made onto the “New Picture Books” shelf.

As you can see, the cover is drop dead gorgeous! The tall, unique shape of the book is perfect to feature a tall, stately lighthouse. Each letter in the title has a delicate golden edge, and the streams of light coming from the lighthouse are shimmering lines of gold. Absolutely stunning!

A hearty 48-pages, this lovely picture book shows the lighthouse enduring all kinds of weather: dense fog, howling winds, and massive icebergs. While inside its cozy “round rooms”, the keeper stays busy with his many duties and diligently records each one in his logbook. As time goes on, the keeper starts his own growing family, and the three are content and safe in their home by the sea.

The text has a comforting, lyrical quality. The repeating phrase, “Hello! … Hello! …  Hello!” evokes poignant emotion, and also lends to a touching scene near the end of the book where the keeper must leave his lighthouse and say, “Goodbye! … Goodbye! … Goodbye!”

The book has a nice fold-out 3-page spread near the end that’s glorious! But I’m not going to give too much away because I want you to be able to experience the power of the text and illustrations for yourself.

Of course, I really enjoyed the author’s note in the back which provides fascinating facts about lighthouses. Sophie did an excellent job with her research, which included spending the night in a lighthouse on a tiny island at the tip of Newfoundland. Perhaps even more impressive, Sophie carefully limited what she shared from her research in the main text (not easy to do!) so the text flowed beautifully. I really loved this book and I think you will too!


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Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the author of more than 100 books. A mechanical engineer by degree, she enjoys writing about science topics and fascinating historical figures. Recent books include: SWISH! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters, A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, The Daring Dozen, Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, Astronaut Annie, Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story, Dangerous Jane, The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue, The Inventor’s Secret, and Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. Coming soon -- MARS IS, JUNE ALMEIDA VIRUS DETECTIVE! THE WOMAN WHO DISCOVERED THE FIRST HUMAN CORONAVIRUS, THE UNIVERSE AND YOU, and TBA titles from Calkins Creek, Peachtree, and Random House. Learn more about Suzanne and her books at: www.suzanneslade.com


  1. I’ve heard so much about this book. It’s definitely on my “to be read” list. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Wow. What a cool book. I’ve always been fascinated instead by lighthouses. 🙂

  3. Yes, this is a beautiful book with equally fine text. Caldecott?? Love it.

  4. I have always loved lighthouses! This is a must for my shelf.

  5. From the lyrical language to the gorgeous illustrations, HELLO LIGHTHOUSE is a splendid book. I felt I had stepped back in time. The author’s note adds interesting facts. Thank you for featuring this beautiful story by Sophie Blackall.

  6. This looks like a lovely book. I can’t wait to read it.

  7. Another beautiful PB to add to the my request list at the library!

  8. Just read & loved it! The art was spectacular!

  9. This book certainly got my attention! It looks wonderful on so many levels.:)

  10. Beautiful! Thanks for shining a light on this one!

  11. I adore this book. The art is so amazing. And I agree the info on lighthouses is terrific.

  12. Beautiful! Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I am actually going to Saint John’s Newfoundland this Friday and plan to bring it to the attention of my children’s lit class.

  13. Angie Quantrell

    I can’t wait to read this! Looks lovely! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  14. This is the first I’ve heard of this book, but it looks lovely. I can’t wait to take a peek inside.

  15. Looks gorgeous! I always love cutaway images. Look forward to seeing more of it. Thanks, Suzanne!

  16. Lovely! Can’t wait to read it.

  17. A truly beautiful book. Thanks for the preview, I’ll be checking this one out in person!

  18. Carol Samuelson-Woodson

    Who wouldn’t be hooked by such and interesting topic and cover? Another must read.

  19. What a COOL book. Truly out of the box!

  20. LeeAnn Rizzuti

    The history of lighthouses have always fascinated me so this was a must read. Sophie Blackall does a beautiful job of transporting readers to another place and time.

  21. Beautiful book! Thanks for pointing out all the little touches that I might have missed.

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