Erin lives by the sea with her mum and her dog, Archie. Legends of the mysterious Black Rock abound where she lives, making Erin want to discover it so much that she stows away on her mother's boat when she goes fishing.
Having fallen off the boat and deep into the sea, Erin discovers a world of great beauty- and the secret of Black Rock.
'The Secret of Black Rock' is a lovely story with wonderful ilustrations, offering a wealth of possibilities for using in school.
The book offers little text, yet what there is works perfectly with the illustrations- each word chosen very carefully. As a result, Erin's personality is very clear to the reader; she's full of courage and determination and has a strong sense of justice and fair play. Initially, her curiosity about Black Rock fuels her adventurous spirit; later, it is her desire to do the right thing and to make sure the adults listen that drive her to action.
There is also a strong message about man's impact on the environment and the danger we present by reacting to things without fully understanding them. Years of rumour and exaggeration have meant that Black Rock is an object of suspicion and fear with no one trying to discover the truth. The adults' initial reaction is to try and destroy it before it harms them- and it takes a child's voice to make them see the truth. The beauty of the underwater world which Black Rock supports is only marred by the carelessness of man- a message which is perfectly conveyed in a six picture bubbles and two sentences of text!
'The Secret of Black Rock' is also wonderfully presented; it has gorgeous illustrations, but the book itself is a thing of beauty. Sections of the cover illustration are picked out in a glossy finish, making it tactle and tempting. The pages are thick and heavy, making turning each one a joy! If every there was a cure for reading on a Kindle- this would be it!
The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton
Flying Eye Books ISBN: 978-1911171256