THE NEWZEALAND HERALD:
Canvas Magazine - Graham Hepburn “TOP CHOICE"The second installment in a planned Cork trilogy sees our hero joining up with the bottle he met on tropical shores at the end of Cork on the Ocean. The two share adventures on and beneath the ocean in yet another quirky and enchanting rhyming tale. The themes of friendship and optimism are brought to life by Rowan's luminous illustrations from a limited colour palette.”
HAWKES BAY TODAY - Jamie Lawrence “Cork and the Bottle is not just a book but a work of art. With stunning illustrations by the Author's wife, Rowan, this book follows up on the voyage from Cork on the Ocean. It's a bit of a metaphor for the joys and challenges of relationships, but aside from the moral, it's a book children of all ages will enjoy. Cleverly written, older children will enjoy the intricacies of the plot and younger children will love having the story read to them and looking at the pictures.”
BRIGHT START MAGAZINE “A lyrical tale about the ups and downs of relationships, Cork and the Bottle is the second book in a trilogy by Mark and Rowan Sommerset. Mark is the wordsmith, filling the pages powerful poetry which ebbs and flows like the lilt of the ocean (and which children love listening to and sounding out). Rowan's dramatic illustrations are the backdrop, using a stark and deliberately limited colour palette of sea blues and sandy gold to evoke the beauty of New Zealand's seascapes.
The book charts the journey of two characters, the cork and the bottle, who sail across the ocean encountering dangers and challenges along the way. The philosophical tone unpeels many layers of meaning, with appeal to children and adults alike. Children love the drama of seeing how the characters battle to stay together. Their stormy adventure becomes a metaphor for life, celebrating the richness of human relationships, and the ultimate message is one of optimism in the face of adversity: "You know" said the cork, "I'm glad that we met. The further we travel, the closer we get.”
MORE FM - Kerrie Marie Adams “Cork and the Bottle is the sequel to one of my favourite children's books Cork on the Ocean. The first book ends with Cork meeting Bottle - and the two of them hatching a planning to travel the oceans together. This new title carries on from the first, with Cork and Bottle making their way on the ocean waves... It's a real adventure story told in lilting rhyme (think Dr Seuss) - but underneath it's a story of friendship and trust, and about sharing your life with those that you love. And the illustrations? As much as I love the words, the pictures really make me (and my 5-year-old daughter Scarlett) love this book even more! Who would think that a bottle and cork could take on a personality of their own - not to mention all the stunning illustrations of the beaches and islands, sea friends and underwater seascapes. It's a delight to read and a delight to look at.”
AUSTRALIAN WOMANS WEEKLY (NZ) Edition "Best Books" - Tessa Duder “... this story of adventure and friendship is suitable for ages 2-3 and up... enchanting illustrations in turquoise, yellow and pale biscuit and generally beautiful production...”
WWW.MAGPIES.NET.AU - Trevor Agnew “This charming picture book is a sequel to Cork on the Ocean (2005), telling the further adventures of Cork, in rhyming couplets... A cheerful use of rhythm and rhyme makes this book a delight to read aloud, greatly enjoyed by 3 to 6 year-olds.”