Joe Todd-Stanton grew up in Brighton and was taught to draw by his mother, who is also an illustrator. He studied at Bristol University, receiving a first class degree in Illustration. Stanton has been commissioned to work for clients such as Oxford University Press, Usborne Publish and Aquila magazine. His first picture book, Arthur and the Golden Rope, was published by Flying Eye Books in 2016.
Todd-Stanton's tale is, at first glance, a deceptively simple tale
of acceptance and bravery. However, he deftly infuses his narrative
with quiet depth, including a positive ecological slant in which
nature wins over machines, and portrays Erin's single mother
succeeding in a typically male-dominated profession. The
illustrations are dazzling and vibrantly hued, the rich palette
just right for the resplendent undersea scenes that adroitly float
young readers' sense of magic just under the surface of the
mundane. A winner on many levels.
--Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
The gentle environmental message takes on a kind of magic in
Todd-Stanton's pictures of Erin suspended in the ocean among
incandescent jellyfish or facing down a monstrous, weaponised
fishing fleet in the moonlight. A young artist to watch.
A fairytale world is created that should enchant children as
much as the old-fashioned illustrations that fit the story
--Youth Services Book Review
The layers of ocean life and the benign Black Rock are
beautifully rendered in this wonderfully tactile hardback, while
the gently delivered environmental message adds a welcome real-life
depth to the modern mythic tale.
An original picture book story that is superbly illustrated from
cover to cover, Joe Todd-Stanton's "The Secret of Black Rock" is a
compelling and entertaining read for children ages 5 to 8, making
it an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to family,
elementary school, and community library collections.
--Midwest Book Review
This is an exceptionally illustrated modern folk-tale [...] You
will love Erin and her large heart, courage, sense of adventure,
and ability to stand up for what she believes in!
--A Story A Day
This book is truly an amazing read! [...] The illustration is
--How Useful It Is