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!