After a courageous young girl befriends a legendary creature, she must stop the frightened villagers from attacking it.
With ivory hair and pale white skin, Erin Pike lives in a quaint seaside town with her spotted hound, Archie, and her fisherwoman mother. The people of her town all tell tales of the horrible monster Black Rock, a fearsome and gigantic nautical creature capable of moving throughout the seas and tearing boats to pieces. Undaunted by the whispers, Erin stows away on her mother’s boat to find the monster. She discovers, however, that Black Rock is a gentle being who follows the plethora of beautiful aquatic life that inhabits the sea. When the townsfolk decide to attack Black Rock, will one small girl be able to stop them? Todd-Stanton’s tale is, at first glance, a deceptively simple tale of acceptance and bravery. However, he deftly infuses his narrative with quiet depth, including a positive ecological slant in which nature wins over machines, and portrays Erin’s single mother succeeding in a typically male-dominated profession. The illustrations are dazzling and vibrantly hued, the rich palette just right for the resplendent undersea scenes that adroitly float young readers’ sense of magic just under the surface of the mundane.
A winner on many levels. (Picture book. 3-7)