I've been looking for this new book from Sophie Blackall, "Hello Lighthouse." When last I checked the online catalog, my library didn't have it yet. But a few days ago, a fly on the wall of my local library might have heard a grown woman (that would be me) utter an audible, triumphant "YES!" when she spotted this book on the shelf.
I read it with my kids last night, and Yes! Yes! Yes! to "Hello Lighthouse." Gorgeous in every respect, from the rich blue sky and water, to the stylized ocean waves and sturdy hexagonal lighthouse, to the rhythmic poetic words, this book made a deep impression on me. As I read it aloud, I could feel it transporting me and my daughters to another time and place. That's the experience I crave in a picture book!
I was fortunate to hear Sophie Blackall speak at the 2016 SCBWI Summer Conference and know that she's a collector of "curious and unfinished things." She loves historical objects and imagining the people who used those objects before, or in the case of "Hello Lighthouse," historical places and the lives that were lived there. It must be that kind of curiosity about and reverence for the past that made "Hello Lighthouse" possible, because the book holds so much in so few pages. It holds lives and histories and the passage of time, and presents all this to children with incomparable style and charm.