The Secret Box: A Wordless Treasure


The Secret Box by Barbara Lehman

Lehman continues her wordless books with this treasure of a title.  Years ago, during the times of steam trains and horse-drawn carriages, a boy hides a box under the floorboards of a house.  Other buildings are built around that house, as the city grows.  Cars and a modern train show that time has passed.  Three children head to the high floor and discover the hidden box.  In the box are directions to the Seahorse Pier.  The children have to find the old landmarks that are almost hidden in the modern city.  They follow the map to the Seahorse Pier and to a surprise waiting for them at the end of their adventure.

Lehman’s books are delightful adventures, allowing readers to take travels along with the characters in the books.  Readers also get to puzzle out what is happening, as the book takes turns and twists like any great adventure should.  Told entirely through illustrations, the story is delicate yet strong.  Lehman uses a deft hand in this book, balancing the book exquisitely.

Although this is a wordless story, it will work best for slightly older preschoolers because the stories are not as straight forward as most wordless books.  Because of that, I see them as ideal picks for children having difficulty with reading.

Highly recommended, this book will be enjoyed by fans of Lehman’s previous work and will find new fans as well.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

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