Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April's Book of the Month--Hello Lighthouse

April’s Book of the Month is this year’s Caldecott winner, HELLO LIGHTHOUSE, by Sophie Blackall.

This lighthouse “is built to last forever,” and even though changes happen as the years go by, the lighthouse remains steadfast, always “sending its light out to sea,/guiding ships on their way.”

Repeating circular motifs in the art reinforce the circular nature of the text. We begin “on the highest rock of a tiny island/at the edge of the world,” where a new keeper arrives to polish the lens, trim the wick, wind the clockwork, and do all tasks necessary to tend the light. HIs wife arrives, and then a baby. Storms come and go. By story's end, we are still on that “highest rock of a tiny island/at the edge of the world,” even though the keeper and his family now gaze at the light from a house on the mainland. The keeper has been replaced by a machine, but readers understand that all is well, and surely all will continue to be well, with the lighthouse on the job. Which is actually an interesting twist—it’s the lighthouse that’s the main character, and although the keeper, his wife, their daughter, and occasional visitors add a touch of humanity to the picture, they are only passersby. HELLO LIGHTHOUSE is a tribute to the lighthouse.

Blackall has found so many ways to depict water in this book! Chinese ink and watercolor illustrations are delicate, yet vibrant, with jewel-toned colors. Many pages have circular insets, which offer multiple scenes and perspectives on their spreads. The text is rhythmic and repetitive, feeling quite a bit like the ebb and flow of the sea. The book itself is tall to accommodate the vertical shape of its title character.


No comments:

Post a Comment