Caldecott-winner Sophie Blackall has created a picture book that takes us back in time to when lighthouses had to have a lighthouse keeper and before things were automatic. This was not an easy task, as it was dangerous and at times, even lonely.
In Hello Lighthouse, she explains the daily life of a lighthouse keeper. The ups and downs he (and sometimes she) would have to face. The dangers of ice on the windows and keeping the light always wound. The dangers of fog so thick that the light could not be seen. And even the dangers the ships would face as well, such as being shipwrecked in freezing waters. The loneliness of the months without mail or contact with others, or how families would grow up in the tiny rooms is also explored. Blackall focuses on one lighthouse keeper, his wife and family and how they go about taking care of the lighthouse until the day they get notice that they will no longer be needed. This is due to the fact that the lighthouse was going to become modern.
Blackall has amazing lush illustrations that tell the story along with her text. At the end Blackall gives a historical setting to the situation. She explains other things the lighthouse keeper had to do, a few stories of keepers who did not always get along with their companions and how one lighthouse keeper had a unique way of sending letters out to loved ones.
Blackall also comments on how and why she decided to study and write about lighthouses. This book is a fun story for kids but adults can enjoy too. Of course, it is a great gift for fans of lighthouses or for kids to learn a little history.