Hello Lighthouse

by Sophie Blackall (Author)

Hello Lighthouse
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Winner of the 2019 Caldecott Medal

A beloved picture book from two-time Caldecott Medal award-winner Sophie Blackall that transports readers to the seaside in timeless, nautical splendor!

Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp's wick, and writes every detail in his logbook.

Step back in time and through the door of this iconic lighthouse into a cozy dollhouse-like interior with the extraordinary award-winning artist Sophie Blackall.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

A fascinating, splendidly executed peek into both the mundane and the dramatic aspects of lighthouse life. 

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 3—On the highest rock of a tiny island at the edge of the world stands a lighthouse. Every day and every night, the lighthouse guides the way for passing ships, as its keeper tends to the light and writes in his guidebook. Over time, the lighthouse becomes a constant fixture in the middle of the sea as endless waves, ships, winds, whales, fish, storms, and keepers come and go. Here, Blackall tells the story of a lighthouse and its keeper, and how they both serve the sea. In the end, a machine is able to tend the light and the keeper must move on. But he will be forever connected to his lighthouse. The keeper's own light across the bay shines back at the lighthouse, saying "hello!" Gorgeous and appealing illustrations done in Chinese ink and watercolor make readers feel as though they are inside the lighthouse along with the keeper, surrounded by the beauty and drama of the ever-changing sea. A spread full of information about lighthouses for those who seek further knowledge is appended. VERDICT A lovely picture book, recommended for all libraries. A delightful bedtime read perfect for one on one sharing.—Elizabeth Blake, Brooklyn Public Library

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Painted with the featherlight touch that distinguishes Caldecott Medalist Blackall's work, this graceful account of a lighthouse keeper's life celebrates a lost era. While it was lonely and sometimes dangerous, watching the lighthouse was monastic in its simplicity: "He tends the light and writes in the logbook." The lighthouse keeper readies his home for the arrival of his wife, who nurses him when he falls ill; then he helps her as she gives birth to their first child. Soon the family receives word that the lighthouse is to be fitted with a mechanical light, and their idyll comes to a serene end. Many spreads, delicate as painted porcelain, depict the lighthouse amid the breaking waves and changing life of the ocean. Seals bask, whales pass, and the aurora borealis flickers overhead. Repeated images of circles echo the lighthouse's circular rooms, from vignettes framed with nautical rope to a breathtaking sequence of the lighthouse-keeper's wife walking through her labor, each moment like the hand on the face of a clock. It's a jewel of a creation and a gift to those who dream of retreat. Ages 4-8. Agent: Nancy Gallt, Gallt + Zacker Literary. (Apr.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Sophie Blackall
Sophie Blackall has illustrated dozens of beautiful books including the Caldecott Medal-winning titles Hello Lighthouse and Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick. She is also the proprietor of Milkwood, a creative retreat housed in a restored dairy barn, adjacent to a falling-down house upon which this book is based. When not at the farm, she lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY. She invites you to visit her on Instagram @SophieBlackall.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
April 20, 2018
BISAC categories
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV003000 - Juvenile Fiction | Art & Architecture
JUV016000 - Juvenile Fiction | Historical | General
JUV013070 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
Library of Congress categories
Caldecott Medal
Winner 2019 - 2019

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