Libraries NI hosted a Great Lighthouse Adventure on World Book Day by inviting Islandmagee schoolchildren to an event in Whitehead.
Pupils from Kilcoan Primary School and Mullaghdubh Primary School enjoyed the opportunity to meet Ronda and David Armitage, author and illustrator of the classic picture book series about Mr Grindling the Lighthouse Keeper, in the former lighthouse keeper’s cottage at Blackhead Lighthouse.
Ronda entertained the young people by reading stories and talking about her books, in particular The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch.
The children then provided inspiration for drawings by David relating to the book. Pointed out to the excited audience were the Carnegie Library bookcases, donated by the magnate in a time before lighthouse keepers had radio or television for amusement.
Valerie Christie, Senior Children’s Services manager with Libraries NI commented: “At this event the world of the picture book and the real world came together, bringing the picture book to life. It was great fun and will leave a lasting and memorable learning experience for the children.”
Diana Molohan, Marketing executive with the Irish Landmark Trust said: “We are passionate about knowledge-sharing within the community and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invite children from the locality to discover and explore our beautifully restored lightkeeper’s cottages.”
As well as dressing as characters from the book series, the pupils ended the morning by holding a sing-a-long of sea shanties and by taking part in activities with the RNLI relating to the sea, lifeboats and keeping safe at the seaside.
Paul Rafferty, RNLI education manager, said: “We introduced the children to the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers and through a short interactive activity helped them gain the knowledge they need to stay safe near the water.”
Details of library events at www.librariesni.org.uk