Review: Can you Keep a Secret?

Written & Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon
Published by Alison Green Books
on 4th March 2021

I couldn’t resist buying a copy of this gorgeous picture book with my favourite mythical creature: the dragon. My copy is signed and also came with a beautiful book print.

Winnie is looking at a huge family tapestry, and wondering if any of the beasts depicted in it will ever come back. Her parents insist that they are gone forever, yet Winnie’s dreams are full of dragons.

As the wind howls, she finds herself lifted into the air and into a fantastic adventure … on the back of a dragon.

In the forest she meets the dragon’s friends: a gryphon, a winged lion and tree-man. These creatures are the last of their kind, and need to remain hidden from humans in order to remain safe. Will Winnie be able to keep her new friends a secret?

This is an absolutely stunning picture book that swept me into its magical world. I loved the sense of wonder and delight as Winnie plays with her new friends, and wins their trust. The story very cleverly links the beginning to the end as roles change.

The illustrations throughout are a feast for the eyes, and will keep children entranced as they follow this uplifting story. The colour palette is mostly natural shades in greens, yellows and blues, but there is also vibrant pink which really brings the images to life and adds something quite unexpected.

As with many picture books for younger readers, I can see it being loved by older children too. There is scope for creative writing and links to myths as well as opening up discussion around keeping secrets, truth and knowledge. A stunning picture book that will entrance its readers.

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