In the village of Maldinga, anyone troubled by a secret knows just where to take it -- by following the winding path through the woods to Kalli's cottage. Tailors and farmers, marriage-makers and bakers -- almost everyone comes to see Kalli, for she is the village secret-keeper, and over the years she has stored hundreds of secrets. But one long winter, Kalli falls ill, and the weight of the hidden secrets begins to catch up with her. Spring brings the curious villagers, who wonder what ails their secret-keeper. The time has come for them to help Kalli and for her to learn some unexpected secrets. Is it possible not all secrets are sad? And could someone have a secret that's just for Kalli?
An original fairy tale as beautifully illustrated as it is told, "The Secret-Keeper" is a book to share with "everyone."
Daily the people of the village come through the woods to Kalli's house to tell their guilty secrets, which she hides away in the hundreds of wooden drawers that line the walls of her cottage, like apothecary cases or library catalog cabinets. Only one person, Taln, the potter, does not come to visit. As fall turns to winter, the secrets begin to weigh heavily on Kalli, and she becomes ill. When a young girl discovers her, the villagers attempt a cure by sharing some happy secrets. After a child tells his secret, a blue butterfly flies from Kalli's hands. As the villagers share good secrets with Kalli and with each other, Kalli recovers and spring returns. Then Taln whispers his secret: "I love the secret-keeper." Solomon's lovely watercolors, framed with jewel-toned borders, varied in size, shape and placement on heavy creamy paper, add fascinating details and emotional depth to this gentle jewel of a tale that will prompt discussion on the sharing of secrets, good and bad. (Picture book. 5-8) (Kirkus Reviews)