THE SECRET INSIDE by Geoffrey Hayes


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Scraps of watered-down child psychology, coated with lots of runny sweetener, make a murky mush of Hayes' latest picture book about his cute little toylike bear Patrick. Here, ""none of Patrick's friends could see. . . the secret inside him . . . and when they didn't understand, it hurt."" But one night Patrick gets out of bed and follows a ""strange parade"" of fireflies to a little hotel ""aglow with the dancing fireflies."" There the Lantern Keeper (who saw him home in Patrick Comes to Puttyville, 1978) invites Patrick in for tea (it has to be tea), and later opens a special door with Patrick's name on it--""and there were all of Patrick's dreams!"" As pictured, the dreams are an uninteresting, unevocative assortment of partying real animals, posed next to a fancy-dressed couple that might be gingerbread bears. Whatever they are, the sight fills Patrick with ""a new warmth"" that is ""all his own""--and so, presto, with a happy new sense of self: ""That's my secret! No one will ever dream what I dream or feel what I feel because no one else is me."" Certainly no one will respond as he has to this cloying placebo.

Pub Date: March 26th, 1980
Publisher: Harper & Row