Marvelous New Picture Book Mondays: Hello Lighthouse


img_2787.jpgI read “Hello Lighthouse” by Sophie Blackall. This book is a heartwarming and beautiful story about a lighthouse keeper’s life tending to the lighthouse that he lived in. With frequent repetition of the phrase, “Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello, Lighthouse!” and the text about the family that makes a home in this lighthouse this story is touching and amazing to learn about. Before reading, I had no idea about the hard work and countless restless nights that it took keepers to tend to lighthouses that they were placed in. This story was not only amazing to read, but taught me so much in terms of the lives of these keepers. Their tedious work of waking up like clockwork to keep boats safe and the detailed records of everything that happened made this job no easy feat. There was almost no contact between those who lived in the lighthouse and the outside world back on shore. Once a month, supplies such as food, items to tend to the light and letters or visitors were brought over on a small boat and hoisted up on a rope over the steep rocks to this lighthouse.

While I cannot relate to their living situation, I greatly admire after learning about their daily lives from this book and am curious to learn more about lighthouse keepers. The author’s note at the end was especially informative and useful to answer my questions about what I had just read, and allowed me to deepen my curiosity about the history of lighthouses. While this is a topic I have never considered before, reading this book opened my eyes to the reality and beauty that there is in living this way, and I am sure that many children would be fascinated while reading. This story would pique students’ interests about lighthouses and their keepers, and I predict that reading this story in the classroom setting could provoke an extremely interesting conversation and potentially instigate further research about lighthouse keepers.

The illustrations in this book were calming and detailed. The tall structure of the book allowed for the true height of a lighthouse to be demonstrated to the reader. You were able to see into each room of the lighthouse, as well as those who occupied them, what jobs there were to be done in different places, the dangerous rocks that surrounded and the blue ocean with crashing, beautifully destructive waves. The format of these illustrations let me notice what was happening both inside the lighthouse and out, and demonstrated just how useful the lighthouse is to save boats from crashing and shine out still even during fog and storms. I would definitely use this book in a classroom, and I highly recommend reading it to experience the beauty of the lighthouse for yourself.

-Ariele Lerner


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