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THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett


by Frances Hodgson Burnett & Mary Collier

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 31st, 1998
ISBN: 0-06-027853-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

In this bad version of a bad idea, the richly developed classic novel has been squeezed into the picture-book format. Resembling the bald summary of an opera plot, the story in its reduced state is all but a clichÇ: An orphaned girl finds a neglected garden and a neglected cousin and restores them both with the aid of the housemaid’s young brother. Collier’s full-color paintings take advantage of the opportunities for flora and fauna as the garden responds to cultivation and to the turning seasons, but the children’s figures seem pasted into the space, and the scenes lack warmth. (Picture book. 4-8)