Book Reviews

So many books. So little time.

What Is A Whispery Secret by Lois Hobart

A whisper-quiet book, perfect for when the day is winding down. When the bright sun bids adieu, taking its energy to the other hemisphere. When the cooler light of the moon arrives.

"What is a whisper?" the book begins.

"It’s a tiny little, quiet little, soft little voice—like this."

And with this opening the author-artist pair create a small gem of a book. A conversation between a young boy and girl. The boy has questions, the girl’s answers take us on a journey into the natural world and back.

What is a whisper?

A whisper does not have to be between people. The long, rustly grass whispers. Leaves whisper as they dance in they breeze. And come autumn, they whisper as they fall—“crisp curls of yellow, red, or brown”. Surely kittens whisper as they snuggle up in your lap.

Notice, dear reader, the use of the sibilant ’s’. A soothing sound.

What is a secret?

By now we should expect that it is not necessarily something between people. It could be something imagined—a pony galloping free, or desired.Something you see or hear:

"…a bullfrog puffing out his throat in the pond."

The artist Martha Alexander perfectly captures the quietness of the story through the gray/white color palette with touches of blue and a light-spring-green.

And what is a "whispery secret"?

Ah the beauty of word and picture superbly matched:

"Have you ever seen a mare look around and nuzzle her colt."

"Have you ever seen a giraffe stretch her winding neck way down to lick her spindly-legged spotted baby"

And "the whisperiest secret of all?" A hug and the whisper I love you. The quietness has built up to this perfect ending.

Title: What Is A Whispery Secret

Author: Lois Hobart

Illustrator: Martha Alexander

Publisher: Parent's Magazine Press

Hardback: 52 pages

ISBN: 0819302317