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The Puffin Keeper

Book Synopsis

It was Benjamin Postlethwaite’s job all his long life to make sure the light shone brightly high up in the lighthouse on Puffin Island. Not once in all his years as the lighthouse keeper had he ever let his light go out. But sometimes even the brightest light on a lighthouse cannot save a ship.

This is a story of a life-changing friendship, a lost puffin, and a lonely artist. It’s the story of an entire lifetime, and how one event can change a life forever. From masterful storyteller, Michael Morpurgo, and world-class illustrator, Benji Davies, comes a magical new story. This truly beautiful tale will enchant readers of all ages.

Our Review Panel says...

Originally published in November 2020, this month sees the gorgeous new paperback edition of The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo and Benji Davies.

The Puffin Keeper is a beautiful story of friendship, love, family, hope and new beginnings, which pays homage to memories of family holidays to the Scilly Isles and is set alongside Benji Davies’ colour illustrations that evoke the untamed coastal setting, the character’s passion for painting and the value of passing time in bringing relationships to blossom through life’s differing seasons. The story was also a tribute to Puffin Books on their 80th birthday and is inspired by the founder of Puffin Books, Allen Page. Interestingly, Morpurgo’s wife Claire is one of Allen Page’s daughters and the real-life family connection gives an added element of depth and breath to the story.

The book tells the story of a young boy named Allen and the friendship he forges with solitary Benjamin Postlethwaite, the lighthouse keeper who saves his life. The ship that Allen and 30 others are sailing on becomes washed up on some rocks near the lighthouse, Benjamin saves them all and give them shelter until help can come. Although he doesn’t have much to say, Benjamin and Allen sow the seeds of a friendship that will last a lifetime.

As years go by, Allen grows up and seeks out Benjamin. He returns to Puffin Island and rekindles his friendship with Benjamin, who is feeling unwanted as he no longer has the job of keeping the lighthouse going. Together, they rescue an injured puffin and nurse it back to health. Over time, the puffin returns and brings more puffins to the island. Thus Benjamin becomes known as the puffin keeper.

This story is so beautiful and heart-warming and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It will appeal to readers of all ages, although at just over 100 pages it sits well among Morpurgo’s much-treasured shorter illustrated stories like The Rainbow Bear and Dolphin Boy, which are well loved for capturing hearts in KS1 and lower KS2 classrooms before readers progress onto the author’s lengthier chapter books. There is also an accompanying Resource Pack available to download.

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