Skip to main content

Olive and the Big Secret by Tor Freeman

I really like Olive and the Big Secret by Tor Freeman. The illustrations are perfectly matched with the story and Freeman's characters are so expressive in their excitement about having a secret and the difficulties that can come with keeping one. I love how Freeman starts and ends his story on the endpapers of Olive and the Big Secret, and, if you are paying close attention, you might even figure out what the secret is...

When Molly tells Olive a secret, she also tells her not to tell anyone. Olive knows she shouldn't tell anyone but... There are a few very funny pages when Olive ALMOST tells her secret, but keeps it in the end.
Finally, Olive can't bear it any longer and she tells Joe her secret, making him promise not to tell anyone. Joe tells the first friend he meets, Matt. Unfortunately, Matt "wasn't very good at keeping secrets." He goes on to tell Lola and Bea. Bea doesn't care very much about secrets, but Lola can't wait to spread the news. And who is the first friend she sees? Molly! The illustration of Molly jogging across the playground to find Olive is hilarious, from her tongue sticking out to her little clenched fist.

Freeman ends his book this way - "And do you want to know what Molly told Olive who told Joe, who told Matt, who told Lola, who told Molly? Well, I'd like to tell you, but . . . IT'S A SECRET!" However, a final illustration of Olive pulling back the corner of the page, finger to her mouth saying, "Pssst -" reveals. 

Well, it's a secret and you'll just have to read this fantastic book to find out what it is!

A little bit of cool bug art from Tor Freeman's blog.

Source: Review Copy

OLIVE AND THE BIG SECRET. Copyright © 2012 by Tor Freeman. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Templar Publishing, London.


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…