Before reading this book, I debated as to whether I should read it aloud to my children or if I should read it first to determine the age-appropriateness of the story. I opted for the latter option but knew within the first five chapters that I would be reading this to my daughter and that she would love every minute of it.On the surface, Keeper has everything that will appeal to children. Animals speak. The main character is a little girl who just wants to find her mother. There is magic and mystery, some tension but nothing too scary. I found myself, at the end of each page, delighting in the charm, envisioning the delight my daughter will get at reading it together.However, this is not just a story for adults. One of the most fascinating aspects of Keeper is the main story told from different points of view - at first the reader only gets Keeper's point of view. As the story progresses, the reader finally gleans the truth as the adults are allowed to tell parts of their stories. In addition, the dual nature of the book trickles down into the messages/lessons to be learned from the story. There is one for children to learn and one for adults to learn, neither of which are preachy or blatant. This cross-over appeal will allow parents and children to both appreciate the story.In general, Keeper is simply charming. It solves the mystery of the worst day ever in a realistic manner, while keeping some of the mystery of the ocean alive. I cannot wait to read it to my daughter and share this delightful story with her! I anticipate her reactions, her enjoyment, her wonder and amazement at each aspect of the story. I suspect that my daughter will be among many to enjoy this fantastic story from Ms. Appelt.