The Grumpy Lighthouse Keeper
Written by Terrizita Corpus Illustrated by Maggie Prewett
Magabala Books 2011 $17.95
Set in the coastal town of Broome in Western Australia, The Grumpy Lighthouse Keeper is a fun and brightly coloured tribute to the areas first lighthouse, built at Gantheaume Point in 1905. Of course these were the days when kerosene lamps were used to guide ships at night, and a resident lighthouse keeper would always be on duty.
With cheeky and versatile sea creatures like Trev the turtle, Bruce the bluebone and my favourite Olena the octopus, this fast-paced story will delight and engage kids (3-6 years old) as they follow the antics of these water-dwellers who invade the lightkeeper's home to escape a terrible storm.
Can you guess the mood the lighthouse keeper might be in when he stumbles upon his 'guests?
Interestingly, as an adult reader I’ve been to Broome twice and enjoyed other famous landmarks like Sun Pictures and sunsets at Cable Beach, but until today was unaware of Gantheaume Point which attracts thousands of tourists each year for its ancient rock formations, dinosaur footprints and historical references.
The author, Terrizita Corpus is descended from the local Yawuru people of Broome, where she has drawn her inspiration for the story. Working as an Aboriginal Teaching Assistant for many years, Terrizita wrote the story as a literacy resource. And as her words are perfectly paired with illustrations by Maggie Prewett (who also illustrated The Old Frangipanni Tree at Flying Fish Point which I reviewed some time ago here), this is a wonderful book for story time in the classroom and / or at home.
Me? I had fun simply reading it out loud to myself in my office!