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BOOK REVIEW: The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton

| 29 October 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton

Flying Eye Books
July 2017
Hardcover, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book


Erin loves to lie on the jetty, looking for the weirdest fish in the sea – the weirder, the better! And she knows the best ones must be further out, where her mum won’t let her go…

Out there in the deepest sea lies the Black Rock: a huge, dark and spiky mass that is said to destroy any boats that come near it! Can Erin uncover the truth behind this mysterious legend?


When Erin is thrown overboard, Black Rock saves her from drowning, and Erin is witness all the ocean life that thrives around it as well as the damage humans have done to it in the form of tangled fishing wire, scrapes from collisions with boats, and a huge sharp anchor.

When Erin tries to tell the people of her village the truth of Black Rock, the don’t listen, but instead set out to dismantle it once and for all to stop it from destroying their boats.

This is a gorgeously illustrated story with a nice, gently message about environmentalism, though one does have to wonder at the overabundance of exclamation marks (twelve times in 40 pages with never more than two sentences to any one page) as they do soften the blow of the exclamations where they are most needed.

Many childrens books manage to communicate a sense of urgency without these, and it could be a tad annoying while reading this story (especially for the first time) but this is nevertheless a gorgeous story that draws kids in and communicates a much-needed message about human impact on our ocean life.





Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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