Corey’s Rock continued
“Although the book deals with quite heavy themes, there is a lightness to it thanks to the beautiful illustrations throughout and Isla’s discovery of Orcadian legend about the Selkies – half human, half seal people.’
‘The girls were drawn to Corey’s Rock initially because of the colourful cover illustration and the diversity of the family pictured. They were intrigued by the cover and immediately began to discuss what they thought the story would be about: a family breaking up through divorce and the daughter helping her parents get back together again.’
The girls read the book aloud to each other, which was more enjoyable for them as it prompted discussion and enabled them to share their different ideas and understanding with each other.
About the story
Both girls really enjoyed the book. Coco said:
“I would say it’s an inspiring book. It’s a story about a girl named Isla who is struggling in her life right now because her brother Corey has just passed away as he was ill, then her parents got different jobs and moved to a different place near a beach. To help her feel better, Isla starts to have dreams about Corey. I think it’s a moving story because it shows Isla getting through a difficult time in her life while at the same time showing that she will never forget or stop loving her brother. Isla’s dreams and imagination really helped her to overcome how sad she was.”
Leia offered: “It’s quite an interesting story because Isla thinks her brother has become a Selkie and she can see him from Corey’s Rock whenever she likes.”
It was really good to hear the girls sharing their ideas about the book:
Coco: “I don’t understand why Corey’s mum wouldn’t go to see the rock.”
Leia: “I think it’s because she was too sad”
Coco felt that the story could “Give a comforting message to people who are in the same situation as Isla.” For this reason, although the overarching theme of bereavement is sad, she found it inspiring and enjoyable.
Both girls felt (Isla’s friend) Magnus was an interesting character because “He seems to know a lot about Isla before she arrived on the island” Coco observed.
Leia added “And he drew a picture of Corey’s Rock which Isla found when she went to the library to borrow Selkie books” Leia also noticed that Magnus was wearing a hearing aid and wanted to know more about why he had it.
Some words and phrases in the book were repeated, giving elements of the story a hypnotic, dream-like quality. Leia was really quick to spot this repetition and made a connection as to why this was done: “Mummy, I think the reason why she says ‘One by one’ five times is because Corey had five birthdays and five years on planet Earth.”
Favourite things about the book
Each one commented that the illustrations were their favourite thing about the book – they really studied them and enjoyed counting the starfish on the sand and the seals in the sea.
Leia said: ” I really liked seeing the five petals for Corey because they look like little hearts.”
Coco: “I liked the picture of Isla finding the seal skin because she said it felt like holding Corey again when he was alive. It’s special because she’s remembering good times. It reminds me of ‘Wonder (by RJ Palacio) and Auggie’s story because that’s also a happy-sad story.”