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But before we check out which edition is the best book-of-the-day, lets make one thing clear. The Secret Garden is a must-have for your home library, regardless of whether your family is blessed with sons or daughters.
It is one thing to have a well-known children's classic in your home library, but quite another thing to have a glorious illustrated edition of the very same classic. Especially if you want to motivate your kids to read more, if you have a struggling reader or even if you have a tough time reading aloud to your kids. Beautifully illustrated editions provide more that extra 'oomph' that that will ensure your kids enjoy a magical and unforgettable read-aloud experience. Yet, even if you are lucky enough that your kids adore reading classics, it is always good to strengthen that love by providing them with memorable versions of those stories. This masterpiece of children's literature penned by Francis Hodgson Burnett touches our hearts with the story of orphan Mary Lennox who is sent to live with her Uncle in England after her Ayah in India dies.
While living in the huge Misselthwaite Manor with her uncle she gets to know two boys - her bedridden cousin Colin who is bound to a wheelchair and a Yorkshire lad Dickon - who help her bring the forgotten garden back to life.
As they breath life into the locked up garden, they also breath life back into the life of Mary's Uncle Archibald Craven who has reduced his life to a miserable existence following the death of his wife. A magnificent story indeed - a story that deserves to be presented to kids in a illustrated format. I've had my fair share of troubles searching for the best illustrated versions of children's classics.
Like the time that I almost gave up after spending days looking for a smashing illustrated version of The Adventures of Pinocchio.
And I am happy to offer you the results of my latest treasure hunt for the ideal The Secret Garden. No, this time around I found three exceptional editions, all of which deserve your attention. Even in a three-way tie for the first spot, there is one book that is just a nose ahead of the others. You cannot make a mistake with this edition as it will entrance you with its rich and detailed ink and watercolor paintings that abound through the book. The perfect imagery of small animals - from foxes to butterflies, from mice to squirells - that breath life into the garden and the countryside.
Inga Moore's fresh, misty-like watercolors give a realistic view of a English garden that is tended with love. Admitedly, a book such as The Secret Garden has many illustrated versions that will be dear to the heart of many readers. If you were to ask me Moore or Tudor illustrations - my personal preference, by a small margin, is Moore.

You will see my final ranking at the end of this post, yet I can tell you that Tudor's edition clearly does get my thumbs up. Yes, this HarperCollins Deluxe edition of The Secret Garden is a fabulous offering as well. I do not remember which version of The Secret Garden I read as a boy, but if it was an illustrated version it could have easily been the Tasha Tudor version.
This edition of the illustrated book will give you that warm feeling around the heart, which is such a rare quality.
Maybe the reason why I didn't put this edition at the very top of my own personal top list is the fact that her picture feel a bit dated.
I list them here as you may make the mistake of ordering a Sterling Classic version of The Secret Garden, under the impression that you are getting a richly illustrated book. The illustrations in these editions are sparse and minimalist, they simply do not pass our test. Leafing through this edition of The Secret Garden it becomes evident that Rust has such a sensibility for the theme - his feeling shines through each and every of his pictures.
I love it when I can find and recommend exceptional illustrated editions of a well-known and well-loved classic such as The Secret Garden. To sum up, my opinion is that you will not go wrong if you choose any of the three editions illustrated by Moore, Tudor or Rust. Of course, it is possible that I may have skipped an edition that you particularly love or enjoy. So, let's not remain sad - I'd love to know about the The Secret Garden edition that you enjoy most, please use the comments section below to tell me!
January 13, 2016 by Lauren Hill Leave a Comment We’re on Day 13 of the 365 Days of Children’s Books series!
While I can’t seem to stay up-to-date on the correct day (life happens!), I am having such a great time writing this series.
We have this particular version of The Secret Garden, which I highly recommend due to its stunning illustrations! Even though this book is over 100 years old, the character of Mary Lennox comes alive in the words of this text as if it were written yesterday. It’s worth noting that this book is a little difficult to actually read aloud because portions of it are written in the dialect of the Yorkshire moors of England. I adore The Secret Garden for many reasons, however, I mostly enjoy that it provides an opportunity for many talking points with my children.
David and Goliath Bible Coloring Pages5 Free Places to Find Read Aloud Suggestions (with a video!)Handwriting Worksheets for Kids: Dolch First Grade WordsHandwriting Worksheets for Kids: Dolch Primer Words!
Speaking of giveaways, did you know I have TWO wonderful ones that will be ending TODAY??!!

The second giveaway is my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series Secret Garden Booklist giveaway. ONE winner will receive a copy of  each of these Pam Munoz Ryan books: Esperanza Rising, Echo, Riding Freedom, Becoming Naomi Leon. All three are great opportunities to get some wonderful books into the hands of your young readers. Looking for more ways to not only get your youngsters reading, but get them OUTSIDE as well? Unabridged (Not a synthesized, easy reader, learn-to-read, edited or watered-down version). The illustrations, layout, fonts, covers and presentation must capture a reader's imagination.
This modestly priced version of The Secret Garden seems to have everything going for it, at face value. I'm Lauren, Wife and Mama to 4 kiddos ages 10 to 5, which we homeschool with a whole-heart approach.
Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. We have mountains of books to read, travel plans galore and I am enjoying yet another batch of baby fox kits who have taken up residence at my house. Again, this booklist and giveaway is based on yet another amazing female children’s literature author. Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden!
I'm so glad you found your way here to Mama's, where you'll find lots of learning ideas for children and for moms, too. As always I am determined to provide booklists, activities and giveaways to keep the whole family pulling books from shelves and stories from pages during the lazy, hazy days of summer.
Pam Munoz Ryan is the author of more that thirty books for young readers, including four beloved novels, Riding Freedom, Esperanza Rising, Becoming Naomi Leon, and Paint the Wind, which collectively have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. My goal is to inspire families to pull books off of shelves and stories off of pages with my creative book reviews and original book extensions.

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