Monday, September 18, 2006

Picture Books - The Secret Keeper

The Secret Keeper by Kate Coombs and illustrated by Heather M. Solomon 2005

Looking for an original folktale then check out The Secret Keeper. Coombs takes a surprising approach in that the main character Kalli has the profession of keeping secrets. Kalli, who is artfully drawn with compassionate eyes and willowy form, lives alone in the forest. Throughout good weather the villagers one by one visit her to unload their burdens in exchange for some type of compensation. The secret is then magically transformed into a symbolic object, which Kalli stores in her walls of many drawers. Like most people the villagers of Maldinga have their small and large burdens, some are lies and some are hurtful actions. But, in the end Kalli begins to feel the affects of all the negative secrets and becomes ill. The villagers rush to her side to try and help, but none are sure what to do. It is suggested that people also have good secrets and maybe they should share these as well. No one wants to go first as it would be telling a secret in front of others, which is just not done. But, soon a brave young boy shares how he wants to be painter when he grows up. From there others begin to tell their happy secrets. Kalli’s spirits begin to lift with every happy secret and finds that she is able to get up and celebrate the coming spring with the villagers.

Although I hadn’t heard of a tale of this type before, my husband with a meticulous memory seems to think he has read something like it before. No matter it is a beautifully illustrated book and makes for an interesting read and bases for discussion with young and old. Although marketed as a picture book, I have found many libraries classify this book as a folktale.



Blogger Swampwitch said...

I have to go to the bookstore today and hope the book is there so I can look at the pictures. I'm happy to have found your place.

12:11 PM  
Blogger PJ Librarian said...

Thanks for visiting. Always nice to know that someone else might enjoy the same books.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your website. I'm actually a teacher and part owner of a small publishing house. Teacher created and teacher owned.

We have a new book series out in stores now. How can we send you a book for review? We would be honored to receive your opinion.

The author's site is

1:44 PM  

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