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31.12.2013
Go on a ramble through a world of secret gardens created in beautifully detailed pen-and-ink illustrations –all waiting to be brought to life through colouring, but each also sheltering all kinds of tiny creatures just waiting to be found. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. This gift is part of our Museum collection, shipped from the Museum in South Kensington, London.
We will use your personal information to send you information about our latest products, offers, sale, competitions as well as information about our activities, events, services and fundraising by email, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. When Mary Lennox is sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody says she is the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.
This the very first book I read by myself, and my dad insists I read this book to him over 1000 times.
Coming in at #8 on the previous poll, Mary Lennox slips a little, leaving wide open another spot on the top ten. The synopsis from the publisher reads, “Has any story ever dared to begin by calling its heroine, ‘the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen’ and, just a few sentences later, ‘as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived?’ Mary Lennox is the ‘little pig,’ sent to Misselthwaite Manor, on the Yorkshire moors, to live with her uncle after her parents die of cholera. There was also this 1993 version which I never seen.  One wonders if that fire briefly glimpsed was a huge plot point. Am I the only one who recognizes and has a visceral reaction to almost every Dell Yearling cover? Yes, I definitely had Lily’s Eyes running through my head while reading Deathly Hallows.


Some of these covers absolutely horrified me, especially the one featuring a pretty Mary in a fifties-style red dress and hairstyle, entering what look like the set of a bad school play. Just as Alice is not fully Alice without the Tenniel pictures, The Secret Garden needs Tasha Tudor.
Features everything from librarian previews of upcoming children's books to news, reviews, and videos. Each page has exquisite pen illustrations waiting to come to life through your artist's palette.
Some readers might object to its sentimental idealization of poverty and the class system in its portrayal of the Sowerby family and the gardener, Ben Weatherstaff. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. This is also the first year we have any sort of garden (just in containers, but still), and the connection between the two is wondering for them. She wrote over forty books; the best-known today are The Secret Garden, A Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy. It took Frances Hodgson Burnett to give that yearning a shape, and even if the shape isn’t quite what a particular child might ultimately choose, the reader knows the feeling for what it is.
In a brief, uncharacteristic foray into fantasy, Burnett shows events in the garden through the consciousness of the robin and his mate, and she approaches her frequent silliness when personifying animals. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name.


They are the book’s spiritual secret gardens, needing only the right kind of care to bloom into lovely children.  Mary also discovers a literal secret garden, hidden behind a locked gate on her uncle’s estate, neglected for the ten years since Colin’s birth and his mother’s death. Burnett once observed that children like things–that was why she kept her doll’s houses full of delicate models of life. I still love Mary and Dickon (and resent Colin for his stupid insistence on turning the story ALL ABOUT HIM) deeply. Then one day she hears about a garden in the grounds of the Manor that has been kept locked and hidden for years. Its old-fashioned plot about Colin being healed rather mystically is almost beside the point. Together with a local child named Dickon, Mary and Colin transform the garden into a paradise bursting with life and color. That was why she took such care with the details both of Sara Crewe’s possessions as a little rich girl (which another Victorian moralist might have sneered at) and with the things that she has, and the food that she has not, in her days as a slave in the attic. Mary is one of those literary characters, along with Lucy Pevensie and Dorothy Gale and others, I expect to greet me with open hands in heaven and say “At last! Little Lord Fauntleroy, a not-rich American boy suddenly confronted with English aristocratic possessions and customs, retains a grave curiosity about all this as well as a belief that people can be reasonable and kind which, despite the sentiment, are both oddly convincing.



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