Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for A secret keeps
A secret keeps
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, ©2012.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 28 cm
Relates, in rhyming text, a child's trip from his urban home to his grandparents' farm, where a secret surprise awaits at the end of a long weekend.
Reading Level:
Ages 5-9.


Call Number

On Order



Before a weekend visit to his grandparents' farm, a little boy discovers that his grandpa has a secret waiting for him. "Grampa, what's the secret," he asks, but all Grampa will say is, "Finders keepers." Is the secret in the barn? With the chickens? Hiding in the corn? When the boy finally discovers the answer, he realizes that a secret is indeed for keeping.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-A boy travels with his family to his grandparents' farm where his grandpa says a secret awaits him. During the long car ride that night and through the next day, the youngster longs to know what it is. When he finally gets there, he searches the henhouse, the barn, and even the cornfield, talking to the animals as he goes, but the secret eludes him. Finally, unable to sleep, he heads outside pretending to be a pirate boarding a galleon (the barn) where he once again seeks his treasure. This time he finds newborn kittens playing in the loft and happily discovers that the one wrapping itself around his feet is his "secret for keeping." The rhyming text, filled with assonance and alliteration, is lovely. However, while many passages seem authentic coming from the mouth of the youngster ("the moon follows me to the farm"; "cock-ee-doodlely-doo!/Old Rudy crows..."; "jillions of peeper frogs leap and peep"), it is difficult to believe he would describe marshmallows as "molten" or say such things as "Night tucks in around us/and rustles in the dark." The mixed-media spreads, executed in a muted palette, depict a working farm with planted fields, a hay-strewn barn with soaring swallows and frolicking kittens, and a slower pace where family members play checkers and roast marshmallows under a starry sky. Any child who has ever anticipated a surprise or experienced the delight of a new pet will enjoy this story.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

mew." It is the interplay between the author's poetic language and the lush illustrations Solomon provides that elevates the story from the usual new-pet fare. A mix of various paints and collage creates dreamy settings rooted with sharp details. On a pivotal spread, watery deep-blue barn planks bleed together while the finely detailed straw focuses readers' attention (and the boy's) to the destination of his surprise. "Finders, keepers" does apply. This sophisticated farmyard tale is sprinkled with gentle plays on words and is sure to spark discussion about secrets of all kinds--those to keep, discover and share. (Picture book. 4-7)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.