THE SECRET KEEPER by Kate Coombs, Heather M. Solomon (Atheneum)
Kalli is the secret-keeper of Maldinga. Each time a townsperson shares one of their shameful little confessions, a trinket unique to that secret appears in the palm of Kalli's hand, which she then stores in one of the many tiny drawers that line her cottage walls. When winter comes, though, Kalli falls ill, and the townspeople despair at the thought of losing her. Does the village potter have the secret that will get her out of bed? A poignant message about the weight and relief we impose upon one another by what we choose to share is at the heart of this story. Great for sharing with older children, reading this imaginative folktale is like watching a series of magic tricks. Don’t keep this one a secret. (7 and up)
Also of interest:
If you like this book, you will also enjoy The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau, illustrated by Gail De Marcken (Scholastic), a sumptuously illustrated parable in which a quiltmaker designs a beautiful blanky to cover a greedy king's behind. (6 and up)
Please share your favorite picture books that you've found to be good with older children in the comments section!
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