Early Book Review: A Secret Keeps by Marsha Wilson Chall

A Secret Keeps, written by Marsha Wilson Chall and illustrated by Heather Solomon, is a picture book with charming watercolor style illustrations and often poetic phrasing. It is due to be released on April 1 2012. In the story a young boy talks to his grandfather on the phone before the family heads out for a weekend visit. His grandfather promises a secret, but refuses to give more information, saying only that a 'secret is for keeping' or 'finders keepers'. The boy wonders what the secret is and dreams up a few possibilities. When they get to the farm, no one will divulge the secret but instead encourages him to find it. When the boy discovers the secret, he is thrilled that a 'secret is for keeping'.

A Secret Keeps is a sweet story. The illustrations are wonderful. and well done. The story is nice, sweet, and simple. I appreciated that the grandfather talked to the parents before and after talking to the young boy, which as a parent finishing the book I take to be the adults discussing the details of the surprise and making sure that it will be a welcome addition to their household. Young readers or listeners would probably just think they were planning the surprise, not the long-term details. The only thing I did not like about the book is that every now and then the words gor to be a little to poetic and flowery, unlike the words a young boy excited by a surprise would use.

A Secret Keeps
would make a good bedtime or storytime book. I do not suggest it for families with no pets, or intentions of adding one to the family. Although, it would make a good book to begin the discussion of pet ownership or springing your own surprise on your children.
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