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The Secret of the Village Fool

post written by Emma Filbrun

The Secret of the Village Fool by Rebecca UpjohnTitle: The Secret of the Village Fool
Author: Rebecca Upjohn
Major Themes: Holocaust, Jews, Poland, World War II
Synopsis: This is a picture book which tells a true story from World War II in Poland.

The Secret of the Village Fool turned out to be a fascinating picture book. I read it to my two little boys, ages 3 and 6, one evening recently. As soon as we were done, the 3-year-old asked me to read it to him again; as far as I can tell he wants to understand the story better. He is a bit on the young side for it, but was fascinated.

This true story takes place in a village in Poland. Mama sends Milek and Munio to take food to Anton, the village fool, a strange man who talks to animals and plants, feeds flies, and refuses to eat any meat. When the Nazis come, however, who is brave enough to hide the family and save their lives?

This is a more advanced picture book than some, but still short enough to be read in one session. It is a good story to go along with a study of World War II. The lovely paintings bring the tale to life, and a section at the end tells, with text and photographs, what happened to the family after the war. Both of my little boys love this book.

I received a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

WARNING: Anton lies in order to save his friends.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12


Links to buy The Secret of the Village Fool:

Amazon: Library Binding

AbeBooks: View Choices on


Holocaust, Jews, Poland, World War II

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