Garmann’s Summer was recommended to me by Kate Hosford. (Remember Infinity and Me and red shoes?) It’s the first in Stian Hole’s picture book series about Garmann: Garmann’s Street followed and Garmann’s Secret is the latest. And these books just get better and better.
Stian Hole is a Norwegian illustrator and his digitally collaged books have a look like nothing else. Same goes for the story. It too is kind of bizarre in a wonderful way. It meanders and goes beyond a traditional story arc. There’s so much there! Bullying. Twins who look the same and are assumed to be but are vastly different in character. How to pick people. Growing up fears. First love. The small start of independence from one’s parents. And of course, SECRETS.
Johanna’s character has evolved through the series in surprising ways. Now she and Garmann become friends. She shows him her special place in the woods. Her secret. “You’re the only person I’ve shown this to,” Johanna says. “I think it was a space capsule.” The two of them pretend and ponder spacey things in their secret place in the woods.
Their relationship is a secret because Johanna’s twin sister wouldn’t approve. And Garmann’s visits to the woods become his first secret from his parents. Not because it’s wrong necessarily, just because it’s private. It’s part of him growing up. Even his mother admits, “Everyone has secrets…”
images via Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers.
Sometimes we need secrets. And sometimes we need to tell them because we’re bursting, but there’s no one to tell. Perhaps this is one reason people journal. Here are two ways to share a secret while it still remains a secret, if you want it to.
You guys know about PostSecret, right?
“PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.”
Some are heartbreakingly sad or painful. Shocking. Scary. Revealing. A few funny. There’s a new batch every Sunday. It’s been going strong for a number of years. And there are books too. And an archive to browse.
There’s this concept in the movie that people with a secret once climbed a mountain to find a tree. They made a hole in the bark and whispered their secret into the hole, then covered it with mud. That way, they could tell it with no one else never knowing: