- Age Range: 6 - 9 years
- Grade Level: 1 - 4
- Lexile Measure: 950 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick; 15804th edition (February 12, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780763631611
- ISBN-13: 978-0763631611
- ASIN: 0763631612
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,998 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secret Garden Hardcover – February 12, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3–6—First published in 1911, Burnett's tale of burgeoning self-awareness, newfound friendship, and the healing effects of nature is presented in an elegant, oversize volume and handsomely illustrated with Moore's detailed ink and watercolor paintings. Cleanly laid-out text pages are balanced by artwork ranging from delicate spot images to full-page renderings. The outdoor scenes are beautifully depicted, presenting realistic images of animals and flowers, with the hues gradually warming in sync with the story's progression from winter's browns and beiges to the lush colors of spring. The young protagonists—lonely Mary Lennox; her sickly and spoiled cousin, Colin; and likable local lad Dickon—bound to life in the evocative paintings, which reflect the wonders of transformations in both nature and in a child's heart. All in all, a lovely interpretation.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A handsome oversize edition Moore’s detailed ink and watercolor paintings portray the
English countryside and breathe life into the young protagonists.
—School Library Journal
Moore's illustrations open out like an invitation to walk in the garden ourselves.
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You can sample the book as a Kindle freebie or in some other downloadable form, since it's out of copyright and readily available. Then, and better yet, after you read it and discover its pleasures, look for a nice edition to give to each young reader you know. There are easy to read books that are shallow, and there are harder to read books with considerable depth, but this one manages to be accessible to a fairly young reader and yet still loaded with fine writing, style, character, mystery, romance, adventure and inspiration. An excellent choice.
And while you're at it, take a look at Burnett's "Little Lord Fauntleroy". He's gotten a bad rap, (probably as a result of those Fauntleroy suits and haircuts that were the rage in the twenties), but he's actually smart , level headed, and shrewdly decent in unexpected ways. So go and get your Burnett on.
Princess is a whacking good story which allows the tale to rise above being a lesson in morals. Kids don't want to be preached to but given a good story and interesting characters they'll get the point subtly. But that is also true with adults.
Some reviewers have criticized the book because at the end of the story Becky went home with Sara as her maid. Author Burnett, however, is being true to 1899 London. The Cockney Becky could never be the equal of Sara Crewe the heiress. It's the way things were and to some extent the way things still are. Other reviewers have complained that Sara is too perfect. She is, however, too spunky to be insipid and she is certainly not goody-goody like Pollyanna. As a child reader I didn't regard her as too perfect nor do I now.
You will laugh at an old lady reading a children's book she hasn't read in 75 years But now I read as a literary critic and Princess is not wanting in the quality of its writing and the deft originality of the plot. Ms. Burnett can write with beautifully apt descriptions and a taut, quickly moving plot. She in no way dumbs down her prose when writing for children. She puts you into foggy London right away, and introduces Sara and her father to Miss Minchin's Seminary “where the very armchairs seemed to have hard bones in them” and Miss Minchin herself had “large cold fishy eyes and a large cold fishy smile.”
If you have any little girl in your family who has not read “The Little Princess” do pop the book into her Christmas stocking. She'll love it, trust me! And so will you!