The Perfect Rock
Flying Eye Books
I’d just finished reading another Flying Eye book, Curious Creatures: Working With Tools, when I picked up this one, little realising it too involves tool-using otters.
However, Sarah Noble’s narrative is a story about three busy young otters, Ollie, Bea and Ula that on account of their busy schedule, don’t generally have time to consider rocks. Nonetheless their shellfish feasting cannot happen in the future unless they can open the shells for themselves; so say their Papa and Mama. They go on to explain the qualities the opening tool – the Perfect Rock of the title – needs to have concluding with, “Most importantly, … something you hold dear, something you’ll hold tight and never lose.”
Off swim the little otters through the seaweed forest searching both high and low tides until at last …
However a squabble ensues as each states the case for taking possession of this perfect finding and their squabbles lead to a scrap and chase resulting in the loss of the vital object and angry feelings bubble up. Then a scary storm blows in, delivering an important life lesson that changes everything.
With gorgeous illustrations of both the otters and their environment, and words that are a delight to read aloud, this is such a lovely book offering as it does life lessons on sibling rivalry and finding your independence for the young otters, that are equally applicable to little humans. The otters’ changing feelings are so well expressed in Sarah’s scenes of their search, squabbles and final serenity.