Review: The Hat Full of Secrets

“My best ever one ever.” This is what T declared as we finished the story we have been reading for the last 3 nights – The Hat Full of Secrets by Karl Newson and Wazza Pink.

Henry Pepper is a young boy with a secret. And not just any old secret but a proper whopper of a secret. Unsure of what to do with it, he rushes up the garden path and bursts through the backdoor of number 25, immediately attempting to unload it on Grandad. When Henry struggles with this, Grandad suggests keeping the secret under a hat, and is shocked to discover Henry doesn’t have one!

After a little rummage, Grandad reappears with a gift, a hat made for adventures and perfect for storing secrets. Its a little big but Henry wears it with pride. He heads outside to confront his secret and takes the hat off to blow away some dust and it is here that something amazing happens – 5 luggage tags fall out of the hat and drift off in all directions!

Henry catches one and rushes back to find Grandad, who he discovers holding another! Grandad reveals that the luggage tags contain his secrets and he decides it is time to share them with Henry! It turns out Grandad has enjoyed a life filled with adventure! There are dinosaur bones, meetings with the Queen, trips to the North Pole, a land-speed record and even a favour from an astronaut! With Grandad’s sharing of memories and secrets done, Henry decides it is time for us to go back to the beginning and for him to share his secret! Is the hat big enough for it though?!

This is a truly lovely story full of magic and love. There is adventure, humour and excitement in every secret shared, but the real star here is the loving relationship between one young man and his grandad. The bond between the pair is realised beautifully both in the stories they share and in the gorgeous, full-colour illustrations. The excitement can be seen in Henry’s words and on his face as he shares a wonderful adventure with his Grandad! This will have young readers re-evaluating their relationships with grandparents and will no doubt see them suggest a secret sharing session – will anyone be able to live up to the standard set by Grandad?! This book is a great reminder of the wonder, wisdom and stories contained within our memories. Beautiful. As T put it so clearly, “My best ever one ever.”

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