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Must List: Read “Keep Our Secrets” Board Book with your kids

By Isabel Kallman

keep our secrets book by McSweeney's

Pop-up books were all the rage in the early 2000s and scanimation jumped on my radar in 2008.  And, I love them all dearly for the wonder they brought to my young son’s eyes.

But at almost nine years old, I thought it would be hard to impress my son with the Keep Our Secrets board book which features heat-sensitive, color-changing ink on every page.  Oh, how I was wrong.  Published by the smartypants at McSweeney’s the story is a simple one of a brother and sister wandering through their house and backyard as they find freaky treasures hidden at every turn.

The reader joins them in the discovery by rubbing the heat-sensitive ink with their warm hands.  My son was all “ooh” and “that is so cool,” you know, typical eight-year old boy speak when each image was revealed. I was pleasantly surprised to see the wonder brought to his eyes (yes, I’m finding these moments fleeting already).

This video is great demonstration of the book:

At first, the concealed images in my book didn’t appear easily when rubbed. So, I used a hairdryer as the book suggests to get best results.  However, after the images went back to their “hidden” state, I found them now easy to reveal via rubbing (I don’t know if I have a defective book, or whether I just “loosened” the ink with the hairdryer).

Another tip for you: I find that once you take a hairdryer to the images it takes a while for them to get back to their intended shrouded form.  But, if you stick the book in the fridge or freezer for a couple of minutes that fixes that issue very quickly.

Some of my favorite memories as a child is of spending hours poring over my books and studying the illustrations and as a new mom it’s of cuddling with my son and reading books on the rocking chair. Even though Keep Our Secrets wasn’t in my life then, I’m happy it’s in our library now. And, it’s definitely a book I’ll be gifting to new parents.

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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