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The Secret of Black Rock


The Secret of Black Rock Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 20
20 Reviews
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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?

The Secret of Black Rock Reviews | Toppsta

9781911171256

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4th May '17
I read it myself (an adult) , to Lucia B. aged 7 aged 7 & to Elijah B. aged 4 aged 4
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
The Secret of Black Rock is a heartwarming book about Erin, a strong-minded, caring little girl who is determined to go to sea to find out if the gossip & scary legends about the rock are true. She discovers after falling into the sea from her mother's boat, ( a fisherwoman...nice), that she & all the sea creatures are in fact protected by Black Rock, - not threatened by it. A gentle story with a simple environmental message & beautiful, colourful, detailed illustrations. Me, Lucia 7, & Elijah 4, all loved it. One of those books we'll dip into again & again. Thank You Toppsta.
4th May '17
I read it to 446lena aged 5 aged 5 & to 4446lena aged 3 aged 3
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
This book is about a little girl - Erin, who got to know the secret of the black rock. The book is very interesting, full of adventure.  

This is a beautifully published book, good quality paper and print.
My daughter was delighted, great story.
11th April '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
I loved this story and the  illustrations. Erin, the little girl, is a caring thoughtful girl who doesn't 'judge a book by its cover' which runs through this book.  The delightful end is heartwarming.  Children of all ages will enjoy this book.
30th April '17
I read it to RC13 aged 4 aged 4
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
This is a beautiful book- the illustrations are very detailed. My daughter enjoyed spotting all the different sea species. We enjoyed the story which has a little girl as the main character who is determined to find the truth and then share it with everyone else. A great book to return to as we spot something different each time we read it.
30th April '17
I read it to Skye aged 4 aged 4 & to Rocky aged 4 aged 4
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
This is the story of a young girl, Erin, who wants to sneak out to sea on her mother's fishing boat, so that she can discover for herself the mysterious Black Rock. Unfortunately every time she tries, her dog sniffs her out until one day she tricks his nose. It is a foggy day when suddenly Black Rock appears in front of the boat and Erin falls out when the boat turns!

Black Rock turns out to not be the fearsome rock of legend, but instead is a large creature that moves around in the sea and is surrounded by many different types of fish who live in the sea beside him.

Unfortunately when Erin returns, nobody listens to her about how amazing Black Rock is and they set out to destroy Black Rock. Can Erin save the day?

This is a beautiful story, told in a wonderful way. The writing is lovely and atmospheric, while the detailed illustrations really add to the story. My four year old twins have really loved listening to this story and have asked for it to be read again and again. Highly recommended.
29th August '18
I read it to Little One aged 4 aged 4
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
Erin is rather intrigued by the legend of the Black Rock. She's heard so much about this dark, rather prickly looking rock but is it all true? Erin is confident and curious, fair and mindful of nature and a brilliant leading character for young readers to aspire to. 

This award winning book is one my girls and I have only recently read thanks to our local library. The book is imaginative, brimming with adventure and filled with detailed illustrations. A brilliant read also exploring the wonderful natural world all around us.
1st October '18
I read it to waterfall aged 9 aged 9 & to BonneChance aged 4 aged 4
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
I really love this story. It is unusual, inventive, sad and happy, with a sense of responsibility. 

The illustrations are very detailed and depict the story perfectly. 

Erin is a curious girl who loves the sea and all that lives under it. She wants to understand the legend of Black Rock and wants the adults around her to pay attention. It's a lovely read for children of many ages. 
18th June '18
I read it to NPTait aged 8 aged 8 & to BabiTait aged 2 aged 2
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
This book is just beautiful. The illustrations are so detailed with my sons pouring over it for a long time. The story is so descriptive with my youngest loving the mustachioed koi carps! Great story with a lovely message. I am going to look for more books by this author and it has become a firm favourite 
13th May '17
I read it to racer217 aged 3 aged 3
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
this book was a favourite straight away with the great story 
and lovely pictures and feel this book will be a favourite in months too come too :)
would highly reconmend and will be looking out for more by the same author in the future
8th May '17
I read it to fifebookboy aged 5 aged 5
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
Absolutely stunning book with gorgeous illustrations, just as you expect from Flying Eye books. Erin desperately wants to go out to see with her mum and dog (love that this story turns gender stereotypes on their heads) but she isn't allowed because of the legend of Black Rock. One day Erin manages to sneak aboard her mother's fishing boat and reach Black Rock for herself, where she discovers that the legends she has been told may not necessarily be true. A great story about adventure, questioning information and bad things not always being what they seem.
13th October '17
I read it to Squirt aged 3 aged 3
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
We both thought this was a brilliant book, my daughter has requested this one to be read several times today and has so enjoyed the detailed pictures of all the different sea creatures and the friendly black rock. She was a little scared for Erin when she falls over board,  and the pictures were a little dark, but it only lasts for a moment before she is rescued and it was a good excuse for more cuddling up while we read! My daughter really enjoyed the illustrations and I have caught her a couple of times poring over them by herself. Beautiful book, I wish we didn't have to give it back to the library! 
2nd May '17
I read it to Lilibet aged 4 aged 4
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
This is one of my favourite picture books of late. It has beautiful, quirky illustrations, an important ecological (but not ram down your throat annoying) message, and it has a mythical quality to it. Plus, the main character is a girl and her mum is a fisherwoman, which is refreshing and very different to many of the mummy at home and providing snacks stereotypes we see in children's picture books.

In terms of plot- a young girl isn't allowed to go out to sea because of the dangerous, legendary black rock which is dangerous and seems to move to cause ship wrecks. But she is desperate to explore. Eventually she finds a way, only to meet the danger and the black rock itself. She discovers that it is a type of good monster that protects all the creatures in the sea. The black rock saves her, and she then saves it from people who want to destroy it. 

Is all told in subtle, calm way... and so gorgeous to look at. My daughter really loved it and went to get another book about the sea afterwards to look at different sea creatures.
2nd January '18
I read it to Alice aged 3 aged 3
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
At the start my daughter lost interest in this story (even though my husband and I enjoyed reading it to her) but after a while her concentration improved and she understood longer stories and soon was asking for it to be read to her.
The book itself is quite tactile with different textures and interesting pictures that are fun to talk about with little one.
The magic to this story is not only having a brave young girl as the main character but the extra conversations about sea-life and conservation that you wouldn't usually have with a three year old!
When a book with lovely illustrations and exciting plot creates interest in a little person it is so much more than just a story...
2nd December '18
I read it to PineY4 aged 9 to 10
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
After spotting this book walking the book store I was drawn to its cover and was certainly not disappointed upon opening it. This story has beautiful illustrations throughout allowing the mystery of the black rock to unfold and enlighten. A story of a little girls determination to spread the word and change opinions. Sneaking off in her mums boat, the little girl becomes lost at sea where she finds out the true secret of the black rock. Faced with the fear of losing the black rock, the brave little girl stands up to her family and friends to spread a powerful message. This story linked really well with our topic, the blue abyss, allowing children to make links to our previous learning about the coral reef and Marcus Sedgwicks book Floodland.
19th August '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
5 stars
The Secret of Black Rock follows the adventurous and fearless Erin Pike, a fisher-woman’s daughter, and her dog Archie, as they set out to discover the legend of the Black Rock - a gigantic, dark and fearsome mass that is capable of moving throughout the seas and destroying any boats that come near it. Fascinated by these tales, Erin sneaks on board her mother’s fishing boat to find out the truth. Only to discover that the Black Rock is actually a gentle, friendly creature who is home to an abundance of beautiful sealife. But can Erin protect Black Rock and stop the town from destroying the magnificent creature?
A daring adventure story that explores themes of acceptance and bravery, but also weaves together a gentle environmental message that our own living habitat needs to be treated with care and protection. By the end of the story you’re not only left cheering for the positive ecological slant in which nature wins over machines, but also for the female centred protagonists. To come across a female version of Tintin is great, and to see Erin’s single mother succeeding in a typically male dominated profession is amazing! And not to mention the illustrations - the bright, bold graphics are infused with a mystical charm that beautifully captures the sharp contrast between land and sea. A big congratulations to Joe for winning the Waterstones Illustrated Book Children’s Book Prize 2018 - a winner on many levels ✨
30th April '17
I read it to Ibby aged 4 aged 4
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
4 stars
This is a good book with a great message of fighting your fears and standing up for what you believe in. 
The story line is good, and not too long - which makes it a good bedtime read. 
My son adored the pictures, which are detailed and he loved looking at them to see what was going on. 
I am sure we will continue to read this again and again. 
30th April '17
I read it to eric_ aged 3 aged 3
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
4 stars
Erin is curious about the sea and its mysteries, specifically, the story of Black Rock, told by fishermen and fisherwomen, like her mum (oh yes!). So she hides in her mum's fishing boat and ends up falling in the sea, but Black Rock is actually alive and saves her, and she sees many different sea animals that are there because of the rock. She later saves the rock from all the fishermen. 

The quality of the print and book are very nice. The graphics are quite detailed and with an interesting different style, but it also has a dark/moody feel to it. Maybe because of this it didn't catch the attention of my son very much. He liked to see all the sea animals and the black rock alive, but I don't think he connected with Erin, asking me to jump some pages on the following times I've read it to him. 
2nd May '17
I read it to Ragdollkhanbaby aged 5 aged 5
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
4 stars
This book is wonderfully illustrated and every time you look back at a page you see something new. With reference to the story itself my 5 year old called the end a bit random. It is a story about people not really knowing what something is and making up their own minds without knowing the truth and how Erin tries to make people understand the Secret of Black Rock. A lovely sentiment (although maybe a little dark currently for my son) it definitely is a book we will hold onto and refer to over time and perhaps my 5 year old will change his opinion!
8th May '17
I read it to SophieKelly aged 4 aged 4
The Secret of Black Rock 9781911171256
4 stars
Erin desperately wants to investigate the legend of the mysterious Black Rock. She hides away in her mum's fishing boat, but every time she tries her attempt at being a castaway is thwarted by their dog's keen nose. However she finally succeeds.... but the weather is poor, and a thick fog descends with the abrupt appearance of Black Rock causing Erin to fall over board when the boat turns sharply to avoid the Rock. However Black Rock turns out to be a large under sea monster (whose hair makes up the rock formation we can see on the surface).... and it reaches out its hand and saves Erin. On her return to shore, Erin describes the true Black Rock to the village's fishermen... who on understanding the "true nature" of the Rock are set on destroying it so that no one can come to any harm. However just in time.... Erin helps the fisherman understand that Black Rock is no threat, and is home to a vast array of fish and sea creatures... and needs protecting. 

Lovely adventure story with strong female leads. Illustrations are detailed and absorbing. I felt the ending was a little abrupt.. with a lighthouse being build on Black Rock to presumably protect the Rock and fishermen respectively. 
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About Joe Todd-Stanton

A.F. Harrold is an English poet who writes and performs for adults and children. He spends his time showing off onstage, writing poems and books, and stroking his beard (it helps churn the ideas). He is the author of the Fizzlebert Stump series and the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Gre...

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