Review Blog

May 19 2017

Rock pool secrets by Narelle Oliver

cover image

Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781922179357
(Age: 4-8) Recommended.
At first glance there's nothing much to see.
But the rock pools are full of secrets.

Narelle Oliver's love of the world around her, her desire to inform and engage through her beautifully crafted picture books is the wonderful legacy she leaves for us. Her final picture book Rock Pool Secrets opens up the young readers' eyes to the secret underwater world of rock pools where sea creatures hide.
Each beautifully created scene is realistically portrayed with a palette of sea blues, sandy yellows, muted greens and hermit crab reds. The layered illustrations unfold as you lift the flaps to discover the many small animals camouflaged amongst the stones and sea grasses. Her use of linocut printing adds depth and definition to the detailed scenes. Whose speckled eyes peep from a miniature cave? Why do the turban snails lie still in the sun?
Narelle Oliver's expressive text is wonderfully written, perfect for reading aloud with alliterative and descriptive phrases and questions that lead to discovery. A wealth of knowledge is embedded in the text - 'the decorator crab hides by playing dress-ups sticking seaweed pieces on its little hooks.' A glossary is included at the end for readers who want more information or for classes to use as a springboard into research.
Rock Pool Secrets is an excellent resource to introduce Junior Primary Biological Sciences, in Year 1 students investigate 'living things live in different places where their needs are met.'
Oliver leaves behind a wonderful body of work from The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay to Sand Swimmers. Rock Pool Secrets displays her passion for the environment, the need for sustainability and the importance of protecting ecosystems and the animals that live in them. Classroom ideas are available.
Rhyllis Bignell

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