OZ LIT REVIEW #9 – Can You Keep A Secret

Can You Keep A Secret? Compiled by Mark Carthew and Illustrated by Jobi Murphy. Random House Australia. Hardcover rrp $32.95

(A review by Barbara Brown reprinted courtesy of The Reading Stack)

I started to read this book while sitting in bed one early Sunday morning but immediately felt it needed a more critical reviewer –– my son! I didn’t have to wait long before he climbed into bed with me, attracted to the beautiful coloured pictures on the page pointing out the story (he can’t read yet).

Naturally he wanted me to read him the text. I did. He turned each page, insisting “and this one!”. Next thing I knew an hour had passed and we were at the end of the book. What a wonderful mother-and-son way to spend a Sunday morning!

Can You Keep A Secret? is a collection of nursery rhymes and lullabies from all over the world. I was pleased to see a traditional Gunditjmara (indigenous Australian) lullaby included.

I nostalgically recalled the words and actions of a lot of the songs and am grateful to Mark for giving me the last 4 verses of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I had forgotten they even existed but I am now enjoying them with my son. Many, many times over.

This is a book which will invoke wonderful childhood memories while providing a means to pass them on to a new generation. Old memories are recreated as new memories when the pages of Can You Keep a Secret are shared by parent and child..

The book is bound in purple cloth and has a thick padded cover with a ribbon bookmark and coloured illustrations that will delight all. It would make a wonderful gift for a new born or even for a young child, to be treasured until the next generation. Don’t keep this book a secret, share it around!

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