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.

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