The Grumpy Lighthouse Keeper by Terrizita Corpus and Maggie Prewett

The Grumpy Lighthouse Keeper by Terrizita Corpus and Maggie Prewett (2011) is a delightful read-a-loud story with sumptuous illustrations dancing across the pages to match the rollicking story.

The Lighthouse Keeper has good reasons to be grumpy. He has to go out in a raging storm to check the lighthouse lamp is working. While he’s away a procession of sea creatures find their way into the Lighthouse Keeper’s bed where it’s dry and warm out of the storm. When he comes back to his bed full of intruders and wet and slimy from them, he’s understandably grumpy!

Terrizita Corpus wrote the text as a literacy learning tool for use in pre-school programs and it’s perfect for reading aloud, with repetition, onomatopoeia and selected words in a larger, coloured font. Each sea creature has a different colour to help early readers pick out the repeated words.

Maggie Prewett’s illustrations leap off the pages and continue onto the endpapers, unusual in a paperback and I love this surround illustration. In the second half when the grumpy Lighthouse Keeper shouts “Out, out. Off you go!” the illustrations spill across both pages of each spread and engulf the senses with colour and texture.

Every early learning centre and children’s library needs this buoyant tale, a treasure to look at and read aloud. Sadly I was so late in reviewing The Grumpy Lighthouse Keeper, it’s no longer available to buy. My tardiness catches up with me. Look for it in your library, many public libraries in WA have a copy. There are teacher’s notes online.