In rhyme, a girl relates what happens when she lets slip her best friends secret.
This is a lesson for all to learn from, so the author portrays each child as a silhouette that represents "every child". To this simple structure of black on white, is the red of balloons. These balloons symbolize the secret, with its string issuing forth from whispering children. As is spreads from mouth to mouth, it grows from the lies that become mixed in with the truth. Matters go out of control. Rather than feign ignorance, the girl does the right thing, tells the truth and is able to maintain her friendship with Olivia.
This cautionary tale does not go into the potential repercussions Olivia may face, and because the secret is never revealed it is hard to say if she would be ostracized in any way. Wisely, the author forgoes the subject of bullying as to not interfere with the books central message. A secret should remain a secret.
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