Corey's Rock

Sita Brahmachari author Jane Ray illustrator


Publisher:Otter-Barry Books Ltd

Published:16th Feb '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

Corey's Rock cover

Ten-year-old Isla has moved from Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands with her parents, to start a new life after the death of Isla's beloved young brother. Isla's mother's family is from Orkney and her father's is from Africa, and she finds island life is very different to her former city home. Her discovery of the old Orcadian legend about the selkies, half human, half seal people, becomes the key to adjustment and acceptance.

Many strands are woven into this deceptively simple story – loss and discovery, legend and reality, the pleasures and problems of settling into a new place, the need to make new friends, the coming to terms with sadness. Jane Ray's illustrations capture the beauty of the island landscape and integrate it perfectly with the atmosphere and rich texture of the storytelling.

Endorsed by Amnesty International for illuminating the human rights values of family, friends, home, safety and refuge.

"A dreamy, lyrical meditation on death, family and finding comfort in nature in which Brahmachari uses folklore to explore how letting go is not the same as saying goodbye."

* Children's Books Ireland *

"A very special book, a collaboration between two children’s book creators at the height of their powers. Its format is unusual but very pleasing, one that it would be lovely to see more frequently. It is simple in the telling but deals with complex emotions: bereavement, sadness, displacement, legend. The sense of a life lived at the edge of the land and of the healing power of the sea is what really endeared the book to me. This is beautifully captured in the delicate watercolour illustrations, the wonderful cover and the endpapers."

-- Pam Dix * Books for Keeps Books of the Year 2019 *

"An enjoyable, thought-provoking read for children as well as being a visual treat."

* Love My Books *

"A tale lyrically told, dressed in sublime illustrations that brilliantly depict the fragility and beauty of life, lost in landscape where myth and sea converge."

* Kirkus Reviews Starred Review *

"A touching and sensitive exploration of the challenges of a family coming to terms with the upheaval caused by the loss of the youngest child told through the perspective of the sibling. The words and illustrations weave seamlessly and beautifully together to bring the world of this family to life connecting the reader to the pain of their present and the hopes for their future. There is a real magical quality to this book stemming from the synergy between Brahmachari and Ray."

-- Farrah Serroukh * CLPE - 10 of the Best starring children from BAME backgrounds *

"An excellent book for adult refugees learning English to read, in spite of having been written for children. It has a number of themes which touch a chord with them, for example, being an outsider, loss, diverse ethnicity, a family healing through story telling. The beautiful illustrations describe the seascape so vividly and incorporate a range of emotions in the family members dealing with grief in a new environment. Everyone enjoyed the close link between the writing and the illustrations. The book provoked lively discussions each week when we read it together. It also proved to be a good source of new vocabulary and phrases."

* Islington Refugee Centre *

"Touching and sensitive...There is a real magical quality to this book stemming from the synergy between Brahmachari and Ray."

* Books for Keeps *

"A beautiful collaboration between an author and illustrator, who have both been involved in their local centre for refugees and migrants, which brings together themes of loss and new beginnings, friendship and cultural heritage."

-- Ann Lazim * CLPE Books of the Year *

"Enchanting and mysterious...There are many strands to the story – coping with death, letting go of a loved one, local legends, poetry, starting a new school, making friends, being a dual-heritage family, and rediscovering a lost community. All the elements are brought together by the gorgeous illustrations, and you find yourself immersed in the poetry of the selkie legends, which help Isla accept the loss of her brother and settle into a new friendship."

* Juno *

"From the stunning cover, to the profoundly telling endpapers, and then slowly through the careful use of picture, symbol and space, this is an especially crafted, especially beautiful dance of word and image. I am not going to go into specific detail. The book needs to be experienced as an unfolding whole. We also have the rich thematic elements. Amnesty International have endorsed the book for illuminating the human rights values of family, friends home, safety and refuge. That is a very fair and accurate summary of much of the books deeper content. To this I would add the power of storytelling and myth, and how this intertwines with our sense of home and the space around us. Not to mention the role of dreams in sorting out the impossible-to-sort-out…."

-- Martin Galway (Teaching and Learning Adviser for Herts for Learning) * Just Imagine *

"This is a treasure of a book that deserves a wide audience and at the right time, could help grieving families come to terms with their own loss."

* Red Reading Hub *

"A complex and thoughtful story, handling many issues in a relatively brief text. The author has interwoven the strands skilfully and compassionately, bringing us a book that appeals for many different reasons. Ultimately, it is about learning to handle grief, with help from others. Jane Ray's sensitive and beautiful illustrations capture the emotion of the story and show readers the beauty of the Orkney Islands, through rich colour and emotive portrayals."

* Parents in Touch *

"A moving and beautifully written story about grief and coping with change. The illustrations perfectly complement the text, evoking both the island setting and the dreamlike sequences beautifully."

* Books for Keeps 5 star review *

"Many strands are woven into this deceptively simple story - loss and discovery, legend and reality, the pleasures and problems of settling into a new place, the need to make new friends, the coming to terms with sadness...this is a heartfelt and often emotional read."

* Read it, Daddy! *

"Sensitive, sad and ultimately uplifting, this short tale of a family dealing with the loss of a child is deeply affecting. Brahmachari always writes with tenderness and awareness about how global and personal difficulties affect children, and Jane Ray's soft wash illustrations hold the space beautifully for this quiet story of transformation and healing."

* Booktrust - Books we Love *

"A magical tale that will bring comfort to its young readers."

-- Sarah Crossan

"A warmly compassionate, exquisitely beautiful story of love and loss, old tales and new beginnings."

-- Kate Agnew

"Award-winning Sita Brahmachari has written a beautiful tale for children that explores loss and discovery, legend and reality, settling into a new place, and the coming to terms with sadness... Endorsed by Amnesty International for illuminating the human rights values of family, friends, home, safety and refuge, and beautifully illustrated by Jane Ray, this a book that will stay with readers young and old."

* Books from Scotland *

"A unique and uplifting modern fable told through a combination of short chapters, dialogue and poetry, all adorned throughout by stunningly evocative illustrations by Jane Ray. A treasure to read and behold. Corey’s Rock explores themes of refugees, family and acceptance with great sensitivity. Highly recommended."

* School Reading List: February 2023 Book Club Picks *

"Layers and currents of emotion course out of a surprisingly sparse text. We especially appreciated how Isla's father manages to be honest with her about his sadness while still wrapping her up in his warm, protective bulk. The pain of bereavement is softened by the comforting repetition of symbols, the embrace of Ray's ruby-rich and light-diffused illustrations and the graceful arc of healing which drapes over the narrative."

* Letterbox Library *

"Corey’s Rock is a lyrical, beautifully illustrated tale of love and loss. The poetic text is simple and impactful, telling a story of healing and hope that will resonate with young readers who have lost someone they love. The short, accessible nature of the book will appeal to a wide readership and its message of hope and rebirth will provide much to discuss. Corey’s Rock is a moving, magical."

-- Melanie Dillon * School Reading Li

  • Long-listed for Steel City Bookclub Awards 2020 (UK)

ISBN: 9781913074159

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: unknown

96 pages