'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 22 June 2018

Review: Room on our Rock

Room on our Rock by Kate and Jol Temple is about a mother seal and her calf, who have had to leave their home and search for a new place to live.

They meet three seals who live together on a rock. Will the mother and her calf be welcome to this new place?

This is a very interesting story that can be read from two points of view, demonstrating that there can be two sides to every story.

The first time you read the story, from the front to the back, you read a heart-wrenching tale about three seals who make it abundantly clear that the mother seal and her calf are not welcome on their rock. These three seals claim that there is no room on their rock for anyone else, even though the illustrations show that there is plenty of space on the rock for the mother and her baby.

When you read the story from the back to the front, you discover a totally different point of view. This time the story's text is hopeful as the three seals welcome the mother and her calf to their rock. The rock's inhabitants understand that the mother and her baby cannot return to their own home. The new seals are shown great compassion and empathy by the rock's residents.

The Temple's have written a story that illustrates how powerful words are and how the same words can be used to reject or welcome others. The story's message can be used to demonstrate inclusion or exclusion as an everyday experience for a child when they interact with other children or as an allegory for the worldwide rejection or acceptance of refugees.

Terri Rose Baynton has masterfully created illustrations that include facial expressions which are appropriate for either of the story's view points. Baynton's choice of colour palette creates a perfect mood for the story's content and setting.

To find out more about the writers Kate and Jol Temple see their answers to the Kids' Book Review 12 Curly Questions. Other stories written by this dynamic duo are; Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers X Marks the SpotMike I Don't LikeI Got This Hat and Parrot Carrot.

Title: Room on our Rock
Author: Kate and Jol Temple
Illustrator: Terri Rose Baynton
Publisher: Scholastic Australia, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 February 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781742764108
For ages: 4 - 7
Type: Picture Books