The Secret of Black Rock Review 

Synopsis from NoBrow Press:

This surreal modern folk-tale tells the story of an adventurous young girl who must protect a peaceful living creature.

Erin is fascinated by the stories of Black Rock: a huge, dark and spiky mass that is said to destroy any boats that come near it! But are the tales really true? One day Erin sneaks on board her mother’s fishing boat to find out…

About: The Secret of Black Rock is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton. It will be published on 6/13/17 by Flying Eye Books, a children’s imprint of NoBrow Press, hardcover, 40 pages. The genres are picture books, children, and fiction. According to the publisher’s website, “Nobrow burst into existence in late 2008 as the joint creative endeavour of two friends and ex-St Martin’s alumni: Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro.” They “sought to bring new stories to life, as well as to revive well-worn yarns for new generations of people.” They also “speak with boldness because we are proud: of our team, our collaborators and our fans.” Please see below for more information about the publisher and the author.

My Experience: I started reading The Secret of Black Rock on 5/25/17 as a story time for my 5 year-old son and we finished it on the same day. We read it again on 5/27/17 and 6/1/17 per my son’s request. This book is truly an amazing read! The story grabbed both of our attention from beginning to end. The illustration is magnificent! Both my son and I loved it. My son refused me to read for him if he can’t look at the illustrations. It’s so beautiful and the pictures I took doesn’t do its justice so I decided to use the images provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

In this book, readers will follow Erin Pike and her dog Archie as they stare longingly to sea. She had heard of the legend of Black Rock, how it doesn’t stay in one place, the cause of many local fishing boat wrecks, and it’s as big as a mountain. She tried many times to sneak into her mom’s fishing boat so that she can go out to sea to look for Black Rock but Archie always sniffed her out. One day, she thought of a clever idea and got passed Archie’s nose. When her mom’s boat were far out to sea and fog came down thick, the top of Black Rock appeared and Erin’s mom turned the boat around quickly to avoid the crash, Erin went tumbling down into the deep sea. I love the suspense in this story, describing how Erin falls into the sea deeper and deeper.

I never knew children’s picture books can be such fantastic read until I read this book! I love it when the main character is brave, curious, and can think up clever ideas. I like that Erin takes action to doing what she believes is right when others believe in the worst. My son loves this story because Erin choose to save rather than destroy. Another reason this book is great for kids is because it has a “subtle message about environmentally-friendly practices and the importance of protecting coral reefs.” I highly recommend everyone to read this book, either for yourself, for your kids, or have your kids read it. It’s definitely a re-read for my son and I and we have already read it 3 times!

Pro: illustration, brave, curiosity, nature, sea animals, actions & adventures, legend, mystery, suspense, fishing town

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

Grab yourself a copy here: NoBrow Website or Buy here for free shipping: Book Depository

About the Author:

Joe Todd-Stanton grew up in Brighton and studied at UWE Bristol, receiving a first class degree in Illustration. Joe has been commissioned to work for clients such as Oxford University Press, Usborne Publishing and Aquila magazine. His first picture book, Arthur and the Golden Rope, was published by Flying Eye Books in 2016. He lives and works in London. (Info & Photo obtained from NoBrow’s website, images of books obtained from Edelweiss book details).

More Information about NoBrow Press:

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More Information about Flying Eye Books (children’s imprint of NoBrow Press):

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to NoBrow for the opportunity to read and review. Please assure that my opinions are honest.


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