The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Benji Davies

            The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Benji Davies. Puffin, c2020, 2022. 9780735271807

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Historical fiction

What did you like about the book? Allen Williams was five years old when the ship he and his mother were sailing on from New York to Liverpool floundered on rocks in the Scilly Isles where Benjamin Postlethwaite staffed the lighthouse on Puffin Island.  All thirty passengers and the crew clung to a large rock while Benjamin ferried load after load of them to the safety of his lighthouse.  Allen noticed all the paintings of ships that Benjamin had done decorating the walls.  Ben gifted a small one to Allen when he left.  Years went by when Allen and his mother (his father died when he was a baby) lived with his father’s dour parents in a large house with lots of rules and a surly nanny.  At the age of eight, Allen is sent away to boarding school.  Two years before he graduated his mother got a job teaching French at the school allowing the two to be back together.  Allen always thought of the lighthouse keeper and, after graduation, went to visit him.  He loved being there so much that he stayed many months helping Ben raise an injured puffin.  Then Allen was forced to enlist as World War II began.  After the war he went back, married, had two children and lived in the lighthouse with the lighthouse keeper.

This is a sweet, simply told story.  Benji Davies supplies full-color illustrations on nearly every page with some being a two-page spread.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? This would make a nice readaloud to third-fifth grades.  It is a quick read also being perfect for reluctant readers or those reading below grade level.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? J Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review:  January 24, 2023

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Starred Review, Benji Davies, Historical fiction, Lighthouses, Michael Morpurgo, Shipwrecks, World War II and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.