Rock pool secrets by Narelle Oliver

cover image

Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781922179357
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Sea, Animals, Rock pools, Camouflage. This beautifully illustrated book gives younger readers an taste of what to expect when they look into a rock pool at the beach. Oliver's linocut prints wonderfully extol the virtues of the rock pool and its inhabitants as children eagerly seek out the animals hidden on each page, the excitement mounting as they lift the flaps to discover more secrets.
With her sparse text, Oliver introduces the animal and gives clues as to how it hides, so encouraging the child to pick it out. The rich colours of the sea and rock pools will delight the eye, the scampering of some of the animals, protected by their camouflage almost heard as the page is turned. Looking for the animal in the seaweed or on the rocks, or hidden by the cloud of ink will entice readers to look for these themselves when they are at the beach and be more aware of what is around them.
Oliver includes an array of animals: anemone, hermit crab, decorator crab, shrimp, shellfish, octopus, sea slug, Goby fish and Turban sea snail. Each is shown in its habitat, and two pages at the end of the book give more details about each of them, while the glorious double page before, has open out flaps which reveal the whole vista of the rock pool with all of the animals mentioned. Children will adore having the things they learnt as they read this book, reiterated in the form of a game to end the book. Classroom ideas are available.
Fran Knight