I came across Foster and Walker’s book when it was first published by Wai Art Press six years ago; I liked it then and I like it now. The Castlepoint lighthouse is a landmark in the Wairarapa, visited by many people each year. Foster does credit to its story in A Beam Of Bright Light, with facts and descriptions in a prose that flows well. At the beginning of the book, a fuller history of the lighthouse is given in text arranged in the shape of a light house – very clever!
Fourteen double-page spreads with Walker’s beautifully vivid illustrations, depict the story of the lighthouse. She captures well the rugged coastline, the first explorers, the building and locating of the lighthouse tower. I like the way the text appears in either white or black font to compliment the illustrations. On the spread showing the lighthouse workings, the text is cleverly positioned around the stairs, wheels and cogs.
It is good to see the book reprinted; it might have been good take advantage of the reprint and add a fact page with some of the statistics of the lighthouse such as height and breadth, the fact that it is the North Island’s tallest lighthouse, and a link to the Castlepoint Lighthouse web page. A minor point however.
Tiitle: A Beam of Bright Light: The Story of a Lighthouse
Author: Ali Foster
Illustrator: Viv Walker
Publisher: Swirld Books
Date of Publication: February 2013, reprinted 2018
Reviewer’s name, job title, school name & region: Vickie Humphries, Librarian, Mount Cook School, Wellington
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? There once was a reef, rocky and bare, that guarded a lonely lagoon.
You can buy this book here