A small girl shares her secrets (she knows “lots,” and she knows “secrets are for whispering”).
She cups her pale hand, covers her mouth, leans into a puppy’s ear, and begins. Throughout her day (marked by raindrops, seashells, sun, play, and, finally, stars) readers hear the girl’s husky, hushed voice unfurling ribbons of loosely tied thoughts and associations. She relays all she knows: “Whispers hide in trees. / Trees make great umbrellas. / Umbrellas are the perfect boats.” The interconnected (perhaps improvised?) litany goes on and on, while short sentences convey charming clarity and punctuated certainty. Full-bleed, double-page spreads depict playtime vignettes that inspire her secrets, and as these pictures run off the page, succeeding one another fluidly, it’s easy to visualize the girl’s secrets all strung together, a cheerful paper chain of ideas and whimsy. Pencil drawings capture the coyness in her upward-cast eyes, the bounce of her bob, her pursed smile, and the windy, leafy outdoors. Dusky digital coloring—mildly murky browns and greens—clouds the illustrations with a subtle cover of mystery, suggesting both a cloudy day and a shadowy, secretive mood. Once indoors, the mood and pictures brighten, lit up by a beaming friendship with her neighbor, a brown-skinned boy equally excited by stargazing. He also knows that “Stars keep your secrets. / They only tell the trees.”
Psst! This book holds delightful secrets. And these secrets shouldn’t be missed. (Picture book. 3-8)