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Keep Our Secrets Board book – January 17, 2012
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Publisher's Weekly, Children's Review
"Totally worth looking at again and again."
Very Short List
"Keep Our Secrets Is a magical book.... A blast, not only for the ink gimmick but also because Crane’s illustration style is wonderful. You could read it straight through without vanishing any of the ink and it’s a pretty cute book by itself. All of the hidden images are just the icing on the cake."
"Older readers will pick up on the subtext of two kids on their own trying to make sense of the confusing world of adults, but all ages will marvel at the clever drawings exposed beneath the disappearing ink."
"I thought it would be hard to impress my [eight-year-old] son with the Keep Our Secrets board book... Oh, how I was wrong... it’s definitely a book I’ll be gifting to new parents."
Alphamom’s "Must List"
During our first read of Keep Our Secrets, the number of times 'This is so cool' was uttered easily outnumbered the pages of this inventive board book... the effect is downright magical."
Takes a Village
While e-books may be turning all of our favorite childhood stories into animated pictures and text, the analog book is making a comeback [with] Keep Our Secrets."
A New Day's Work
[A] whimsical, unique book. Hidden behind the fun of discovering secret pictures is a lesson about careful observation and an absurdist commentary on the difference between outward appearance and innermost realities.”
"Keep Our Secrets by Jordan Crane, a printed book that incorporates a very cool technology.[An] amazing little book.”
New from McSweeney’s/McMullen’s comes a board book like no other, I guarantee it. Keep Our Secrets (to be read in a whisper) by Jordan Crane will be heralded by children everywhere as a magical’ book.
"The novelty of this book has obvious kid-appeal but add to that the fun illustrations and you’ll have kids wanting to uncover the secrets over and over again."
A recommendation for parents on Media Darlings!
Featured on Daily Candy!
"Crane’s drawings are clean, yet full of nuance; his writing is playful and sharp. The artistry is in the detail." The New Yorker
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If you believe in coincidence, ignore my review. But in my opinion, something is hinky here and it ain't me. THIS BOOK DOES NOT WORK AS INTENDED.
I saw a YouTube video back in July 2011 showing how this book works. The idea is great: anywhere in the book where there is black, you rub on it and the heat from your fingers makes the black ink translucent, letting you see the picture behind it. So, for example, you might see a man in a black trench coat, but when you rub on the coat you see that it is actually two "little people" - one standing on the other's shoulders.
Even though I knew it would take a long time to receive the book (it took about six months), I was willing to wait because I thought my kids would love it.
Unfortunately, the book doesn't work. You can only make the black ink turn clear after vigorously rubbing for a long time. By the time you get one portion of the picture visible, parts you have already rubbed have turned back to black. I let two of my kids try the book: a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old and neither of them could get the heat-sensitive ink to work, no matter how much they rubbed. When I used it, I quickly grew tired of the "work" of reading it and gave up after three pages.
The book arrived with a sticker on it that says "For best results, use a hair dryer." Really? I actually have to get out a hair dryer and use it to read this? My kids can't read it on their own? Not only that, but using a hair dryer causes every bit of black on the page to turn clear at once, which ruins the surprise of finding out what is coming up next.
Buyer beware: the concept is awesome and the content is great, but the execution is a big FAIL.
One thing I have noticed is that after you go through the book with a hair drier and allow the pictures to go dark (at room temp) it's very easy to go back through and rub the ink to make the pictures appear. So for those that are not crazy about using a hair drier with their kids, this might be a passable work around.
Concept is still cool, hence the 4 stars.
It's not a book, more of an event -- and I hate pop-up books and I'm not usually into novelty.
My kids like it, but it's not a kids book. I help them read it, but I know only their innocence protects them from the sad parts.