Erin loved lying on the end of the jetty, looking at all the marine life swimming below. She wished she could go out to sea but it was too dangerous because of the legend of Black Rock. The huge, sharp, rocky mass, which is capable of moving through the sea as it pleases, is said to destroy any boats that come near it. Erin wants answers, and stowing away on her mum’s fishing boat she will uncover the secret of Black Rock once and for all…
A search for the truth turns into a wonderful underwater adventure and a one-girl mission to save the day when Erin discovers that Black Rock is not something to be fearful of, in fact, it is quite the opposite. With an important ecological message of respecting the oceans and looking after them as opposed to harming them and themes of acceptance and standing up for what is right, Joe Todd-Stanton’s exciting folk-tale is an absolutely gorgeous and heart-warming read where the littlest of voices makes herself heard and encourages the reader to search out the truth for themselves as appearances can be very, very deceptive.
Erin is a fabulous little protagonist. The daughter of a fisherwoman, she is not convinced by the strange tales that the local fisherfolk tell. As is often the case, it takes a child to see what the adults cannot. Whilst the adults are all too quick to reach for the heavy machinery to destroy the feared ‘rock monster’, compassionate, brave and strong-willed Erin has to show them that it is actually a fabulous habitat for an abundance of marine life. Loved the ending too, where a delightful addition to Black Rock has it becoming an essential part of the fishing community.
As with all of Todd-Stanton’s books, the whole thing is beautifully illustrated. The contrast between the underwater blues and greens and the threatening reds and oranges of the fisherfolk and their machinery is particularly striking.
Recommended for 5+.