Educate To Life - Montessori Notes

Calling for a simpler life:
Sophie Blackall's Hello Lighthouse [2019 Caldecott Medal Winner]

 "There’s something incredibly evocative about a vocation like a lighthouse keeper, which doesn’t really exist anymore and yet is so profoundly romantic and compelling.”

The Eddystone lighthouse was built in 1698 to mark the Eddystone Rocks, a dangerous reef 10 miles south-west of Plymouth. It was the world's first open ocean lighthouse and was destroyed twice by storm and fire before being rebuilt in 1759 with its current design by civil engineer John Smeaton. The Smeaton's Tower marked a great step forward in lighthouse design and building with concrete.
It has protected ships from the hazardous rocks in the English channel for over 120 years, before being dismantled and rebuilt in 1882 because of some cracks found in the rocks underneath.
The lighthouse was manned by four keepers, who lived in homes attached to the lighthouse with their families and was finally automated in 1984.
Eddystone Lighthouse in Devon, UK

Hello Lighthouse was inspired by this special place and by a lighthouse on a tiny Island off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, where the author once stayed.
Blackall imagines the last keeper living in the lighthouse  with his wife, a simple but busy life up and down the round rooms, marked by the passing of seasons and by the ever-changing sound of the waves, meticulously recording everything into a logbook.
Reading this book is a bit like hiding into a lighthouse for ten minutes, we strangely feel a sense of safety and peace by being stuck in such a secluded yet dangerous place.
When the keeper's family finally moves back to mainland, we share their nostalgia as they stare at that first romantic part of their life from their new home.

Hello Lighthouse is a celebration of all lighthouses, these romantic places calling for introspection and dedication to work, while it also encourages a reflection on the over-stimulation of modern life, on our incapacity of being in control, constantly asking the world to entertain us.

The beautiful, evocative illustrations were done with Chinese ink and watercolour on hot press paper.
Some notes by the author about lighthouses are printed in the inside back cover of the US edition, which also has a dust cover, as opposite to the UK edition.

The paperback edition is due to publish in May in the UK.
Written & Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
English (US) edition published by Hachette Book Group Inc
UK edition published by Orchard Books [February 2019]
Reading age: 4+
Themes: Routine, Family, Simple Life

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