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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everyone should read this
Oh yes, you may laugh at the title of this review, or snigger or deride
but The Secret Garden is an amazing book. It is a model of construction and language, character (both of children and adults), behaviour, suspense and humour. Of course, it is about a time which, although just 100 years ago, is as far from us today as the Grecian Wars. But the author gives us a...
Published on 21 July 2010 by kettlecharlie

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Disappointing
I thought the book would be closer to the original. I am a teacher of 8 to 9-year-old girls, and I always read books to my class, to expose them to classics and ignite an interest in books. I have tried in the past to read the original Secret Garden story to them, but found the language too old-fashioned and the Yorkshire speech too confusing for the children. So I was...
Published on 24 Dec 2009 by FJ Charsley


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everyone should read this, 21 July 2010
By 
kettlecharlie "john" (fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Oh yes, you may laugh at the title of this review, or snigger or deride
but The Secret Garden is an amazing book. It is a model of construction and language, character (both of children and adults), behaviour, suspense and humour. Of course, it is about a time which, although just 100 years ago, is as far from us today as the Grecian Wars. But the author gives us a picture of a time without computers and mobile phones when a garden was a place to be simply enjoyed not forgotten in a rush for something ever more popular and a time when being active was a way of life. As you may gather I enjoy this book every time I read it and although it was meant for children of that time, it reverberates for modern day adults too.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a sweet Story, 24 Jan 2008
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This book will bring nothing but a smile to the face of the reader. It is an incredibly well-written story that captivates one to the fullest. The characters are so well-described that you get a very clear and vivid picture of who they are and of course the surroundings. The author masterfully paints such a wonderful picture of the spring, the world waking up from its deep sleep, the blooming trees, the singing birds and the flowers. With spring the garden comes to life and with it, melts the ice from the hearts of the little Mistress and the little Rajah.
The story itself is an incredibly beautiful tale of a little girl, who has been cast aside by her own mother since the day of her birth, left to be raised by the help. Always lonely, unwanted, forgotten and incredibly spoiled the girl takes a long journey to learning how to appreciate the simple beauties in life, such as the sun, the flowers, the birds and the spring. She makes friends and learns to care for others.
An incredibly beautiful story which will warm your heart. Get this book and enjoy it !!!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Seceret garden is vividly brought to life with beautiful timeless illustrations that draw you right in., 15 Sep 2007
By 
ELH Browning "Esther-Lou" (Kingston Bagpuize, Oxon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Secret Garden (Hardcover)
As a child this was one of my favourite books, read and re-read until my copy was beyond repair. The up-lifting story of a grumpy spoilt little girl sent from India to live at a big but lonely old manor in the English Countryside is a classic and deservedly so. Mary Lennox mellows as her friendships develop especially that with Dickon, a down-to-earth and good-hearted country boy, and Colin, Mary's indulged and sickly cousin hidden away in the depths of the old house, who also comes to find happiness.
The story is intelligently written with three-dimensional characters, the speech of the servants is presented with their dialect/accents in tact, and the children behave as real children would. Written in the early twentieth century, there's much to provoke discussion with today's children about how children lived and were treated a hundred years ago, the different lives and expectations of the servants and their families to those to the manor born, as well as those in Colonial India.
I was thrilled to come across this beautifully illustrated edition (in an approximately A4 format) with gorgeous timeless pictures which reflect perfectly the mood of the story and the era in which it was set. They also serve to make the book look attractive and appealing to the children of this generation. There's a picture on the majority of double page spreads, a mixture of black and white line drawings and a naturalists pictures of fauna and flora interspersed with ethereal misty full-colour illustrations that really pull you into a different world, that of the secret garden.
A book to truly treasure. Please please can we have Hodgson Burnett's The Little Princess equally beautifully illustrated next too?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Disappointing, 24 Dec 2009
By 
FJ Charsley (Port Elizabeth, South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I thought the book would be closer to the original. I am a teacher of 8 to 9-year-old girls, and I always read books to my class, to expose them to classics and ignite an interest in books. I have tried in the past to read the original Secret Garden story to them, but found the language too old-fashioned and the Yorkshire speech too confusing for the children. So I was VERY excited to discover a modernised version of the book, which I'd hoped was exactly the same as the original, with the text modernised, as has happened with many of Enid Blyton's stories. But, unfortunately, the book has also been abridged, and has therefore lost some of its charm and depth.
What a pity!
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvelous children's story., 5 July 2007
By 
M. G. Gilbert (Worcester, GB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
We bought this lovely story for my daughter, after being fed up with the constant diet of Captain Underpants et al, that she always seemed to bring home from school. The idea was that I would read some classic literature to her each day before she went to bed. The first chapters brought forth constant grumbles and complaints (they are rather boring), but once the story got going, my daughter and I were hooked. She absolutely loved it and listened in rapt attention to every word. I don't know why the story is so magical, but somehow, it certainly is.

Unusually, the central character changes from one character to another, quite an interesting concept that actually works seamlessly, without the reader actually realising that the focus has changed.

As the garden works it's charm on the children, they slowly change from their normal selfish demeanor to care for one another and share in each other's joy.

A really lovely story. After we had finished, my daughter wanted more of the same. Captain Underpants was thankfully, relegated.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite book as a child, 8 May 2009
This was my favourite book as a child, and I stil love to re-read it. The book is just magical, and left me wishing I had a big old manor in the moors to explore (despite the rainy brownie trips to the moors!) If you have children this is a must, but even for adults -give it read and be a kid for a while :)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully presented edition, 12 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Secret Garden (Hardcover)
This book is part of a series of childrens books from this publisher illustrated by Robert Ingpen. All the books are beautifully presented and The Secret Garden is no exception. Excellent.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect 'keepsake' gift for a variety of occasions and a beautiful story, 11 Oct 2011
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We brought this as a Christening present for a baby girl after her parents requested that any presents should be either a donation to Charity or a book that we had cherished growing up.

The Secret Garden was my other halfs favourite book and this version is superbly illustrated, with an embossed hardback, making it a great present / keepsake.

This was really well received (much better than the "The Dangerous Book for Boys", which someone else gave!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars goodness to be treasured...., 12 Jan 2012
By 
LittleMoon (loving my life in the rain) - See all my reviews
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"As long as one has a garden one has a future; and as long as one has a future one is alive."

There's nothing to dislike about this brooding and romantic tale of children coming good. When newly-orphaned Mary Lennox, aged 10, finds herself on the edge of the Yorkshire moors in her uncle's vast mansion, she's sure--in her sullen and obstinate mind--that she's not going to like it. However, it's not long before her new home starts springing mysteries on her; there's a strange crying noise that she's sure isn't just the wind; there's the lost garden that's been shut up for 10 years, and then there's Dickon, a 12 year old local boy, whose affinity for nature and animals makes him someone to be very curious about.

Likewise, the mansion with its scores of locked doors is both haunting and tempting to the youthful imagination; it's the kind of place where anything can happen, where every empty corridor cries out for exploration. The Yorkshire moor outside is a "black ocean" where the wind is like a "giant ... beating at the walls and windows to try to break in", or is in springtime ""th' sunniest place on earth"" filled with blossoms, heather and butterflies. But most wonderful of all are the gardens, patrolled by the surly gardener Ben Weatherstaff and a robin whose bewitching "black dewdrop eyes" seem to Mary to be "finding out all about her."

Dickon is surely one of literature's most endearing boys; a magician with animals, he is followed by a rag-tag bunch of rescued wildlife from birds to squirrels whose natures he knows as keenly as the moor's; ""I think p'raps I'm a bird, or a fox ... an' I don't know it"" he admits early on. He might be a "common moor boy, in patched clothes" but he will soon win Mary over, and his worldview of respecting all living things is key to breaking down many of the defects in his companion's character. And Mary's is not the only character to be healed by the blossoming of friendships and rose-gardens; for the "craven" uncle and his hidden son are also in need of redemption....

The Secret Garden's world is alive to the "tender, terrible, heart-breaking beauty and solemnity" of a robin's egg and knows that goodness is likewise to be treasured; our future happiness, it suggests, depends upon it. Beautifully written, perfectly paced, full of memorable characters, atmospheric places and mystery, this is a tale that transcends sentiment and persuades the child in all of us to believe in its magic.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful version of classic book, 22 Feb 2008
By 
Jane (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Secret Garden (Hardcover)
I loved this book when I was a child and have looked around for a while at various different illustrated editions. This one is absolutely lovely and a real bargain at this price. It is the first version i have seen where the illustrations live up to the images in my head. Gorgeous full page illustrations and also lots of small ones on most pages. A beautiful book.
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The Secret Garden: Walker Illustrated Classic (Walker Illustrated Classics)
The Secret Garden: Walker Illustrated Classic (Walker Illustrated Classics) by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Paperback - 6 April 2009)
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