Can I Tell You a Secret?

Can I Tell You a Secret? illus. by Christopher Weyant. 40p. HarperCollins. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062396846.
PreS-Gr 2—Monty, a frog, has an embarrassing secret that he is reluctant to share with anyone but his trusted reader. He is desperately afraid of water and cannot swim. With the support of said reader and confidante, he musters the courage to tell his parents about this humiliating dilemma. Accompanied by his parents, along with the added support of a snorkel, Monty ultimately makes his victorious leap into the pond. The absurdity of a frog petrified of water will surely amuse young readers, particularly the scenes where Monty dodges raindrops with an umbrella and submits a doctor's note to his swimming coach. Children with any kind of phobia will especially relate to this off-beat picture book read-aloud. Weyant's splashy, expressive illustrations complement the text, featuring a beady-eyed, bulbous-headed frog who has the look and appeal of a beloved cartoon character. The overall message should be clear that it is as important to share problems with at least one caring friend as it is to be a good listener and safeguard a friend's secrets. Pair this choice with the creative team's earlier title You Are (Not) Small (Amazon, 2014).
VERDICT An enjoyable picture book that is worth repeated readings.

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