Keep Our Secrets

Jordan Crane. McSweeney’s McMullens, $15.95 (28p) ISBN 978-1-936365-52-4
This subversive book from comics artist Crane suggests that strange and sinister truths lurk just beneath the surface of everyday life—and that children are best equipped to suss them out. Multiple hidden objects are concealed by heat-sensitive black ink on each spread, requiring vigorous rubbing to get them to emerge. A girl shares secrets with a boy as she shepherds him through a house where wobbly adult party guests chat, play instruments, and dance on furniture. Spilled cocktails, shoes, and other stray objects are strewn across the floor. “One of Mr. Vesper’s legs is a python,” the girl explains (rubbing the black ink makes the python appear), and “the accordion’s got three cats and a handful of forks in it.” It’s all true. There’s a creepy end-of-days feeling to the project, but kids and adults alike should appreciate the underlying message that “you can find new secrets... but only if you listen... very... close.” All ages. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 01/01/2012
Genre: Children's
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