cover image Secrets I Know

Secrets I Know

Kallie George, illus. by Paola Zakimi. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-101-93893-5

As this pensive story opens, a girl sits curled up by a window; her dog gazes out at the garden, where rain falls. “I know lots of secrets,” the girl says, addressing readers. “Like... Secrets are for whispering.” A page turn shows her out in the garden, dressed in a raincoat, viewed through leafy branches (“Whispers hide in trees”). “Trees make great umbrellas,” reads another spread, as the girl sits in a tree house with her dog, protected from the rain. Her linked musings progress (“Sunshine marks the spot... for finding buried treasure. True treasure is a friend”), and she’s joined by a friend who helps her retrieve a telescope that they use to stargaze under the same “umbrella” of a tree. Zakimi (Teddy & Co.) draws animals and plants and their varied textures with care, quietly underscoring the small wonders found in a backyard; matte paper and a restrained palette add to the sense of tranquility. George’s (The Lost Gift) poem celebrates nature, friendship, and understanding things not just with the head but with the heart. Ages 3–7. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (May)