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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Ardie’s Big Secret is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Rosilyn Seay. Ardwick (Ardie) Smith has a big secret which he is not allowed to share with anyone, especially his family. His parents both try to coax the secret out of him, but Ardie refuses to budge. Ardie even shares his toys with his little brother, Jamie, to keep the peace and sets his mind on starting up a project which will keep him occupied until the time arrives to surprise his family. With his parents’ cooperation, Ardie finds that he has all of the project materials to keep his mind busy. Now Ardie just needs to ensure that he doesn’t let the cat out of the bag before it’s time.
I quite enjoyed the mysterious build-up of the big secret kept by Ardie as he keeps his family in the dark about the big surprise which is about to happen. Rosilyn Seay’s tale of a young boy who almost succumbs to peer pressure from his own family truly keeps the reader begging for more at the turn of each page. I know from personal experience that parents can be quite good at extracting the truth from their children and I admired Ardie’s determination to keep his secret, even after he’d been sprayed by the hose! Although not all secrets are good to keep, this one proved to be very exciting indeed, creating warmth and happiness for Ardie’s family almost to the point of tears. I believe that Ardie’s Big Secret will be a real hit with younger readers aged 7-12 years, as they can also revel in the happiness felt when the secret reveals itself as a big surprise.