A Year in The Secret Garden by Valerie Budayr

This unique book brings to life the classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The Secret Garden”, to a new generation of readers.  The book features full color illustrations, historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts.  This is one special book!

    About the Book

   Title: A Year in the Life of the Secret Garden  |  Author: Valarie Budayr  |  Illustrator:  Marilyn Scott-Waters  | Publication Date:  November, 2014  |  Publisher: Audrey Press  |  Pages: 144 |  Recommended Ages: 5 to 99

   Product Details

  Editorial Reviews

Award-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book. Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.


Gorgeous: THE companion guide to the children’s classic, The Secret Garden

*****By Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews on November 1, 2014

In the continuing era of Harry Potter mania, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic “The Secret Garden” is much more subtle in its enchantment, but it continues to withstand the test of time, and through “A Year in the Secret Garden“, a new generation of readers can be introduced to this wonderful story.

A Year in the Secret Garden provides the perfect companion to the original book. The book is divided into major sections by months of the year. For each month, a character from the book (e.g., Mary Lennox, Dickon, Colin) is introduced and their role in the story is described. Each month also features a number of activities including planting activities, crafts, recipes, children’s games, as well as snippets of information about some of the themes covered in the story (e.g., death in Victorian England, language spoken in Yorkshire), and so much more!

For example, September is the first month covered in the book. The chapter begins with an introduction to the story and basic information about the main character (Mary) and the house where she moves (Misselthwaite Manor) are presented. Because Mary moved from India to England, the activities featured in Chapter 1 center around Indian culture. Thus, there is a recipe for Indian-style chicken curry (she says with mouth watering) and there are detailed instructions for how to make a rangoli-style paving stone and a magic carpet. Both are very child-friendly activities that will transport them to the great outdoors!

Visually, this book is GORGEOUS! The book uses a combination of hand-drawn illustrations as well as photographs which are peppered throughout the text. The text and illustrations go hand-in-hand and are integrated beautifully page after page.


Explore Edwardian England

Beautiful and Extraordinary Cutouts and Paper-crafts designed by Marilyn Scott-Waters

12 Gardening Activities

12 Secret Garden Recipes

12 Secret Garden Crafts

Month by Month Guide:


  • Indian Style Chicken Curry
  • Rangoli
  • Magic Carpets
  • Misselthwaite Manor
  • Character Study: Mary Lennox
  • Ploughman’s Lunch


  • Cutouts of the Secret Garden Characters
  • Planting Bulbs
  • The English Garden
  • Character Study: Mrs. Medlock


  • Hot Oatcakes
  • Jump Rope
  • Plastic Bag Jump Rope
  • Jump Rope Rhymes
  • Shovel, Shovel, Spade
  • Character Study: Ben Weatherstaff


  • Bringing in the Evergreen
  • Yorkshire Pudding Toad-in-a-Hole
  • The Oak King vs. The Holly King
  • The Story of Mistletoe
  • Character Study: Martha Sowerby


  • Parkin Cake
  • Wutherin’ Wind Flags
  • Ice Disks
  • Yorkshire Phrasebook
  • Character Study: Dickon Sowerby
  • Perfectly Good Porridge with TreacleSG-promo-46-47


  • Oaten Pipe
  • Garden in a Jar
  • Death in Victorian England
  • Character Study: Archibald Craven


  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • Nest Building
  • Seed Paper & Packets
  • Grow-Me Seed Paper
  • Seed Packets
  • Class of Hunger
  • Character Study: Colin Craven


  • Robin Cake
  • Dickon’s Felt Creatures
  • The World of Mason Bees
  • Making of a Mason Bee House
  • British Money
  • Old British Money
  • Character Study: Dr. Craven


  • Freezer Strawberry Jam
  • Planting a Rose Bush
  • Wheelbarrow Race
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Spot-Sitting
  • Character Study: Lilias Craven


  • A Midsummer Garden Tea Party
  • Ladybug Sandwiches
  • Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
  • Simply Divine Lemon Cookies
  • Daisy Chain Crowns
  • Midsummer Dancing Ribbon Wreaths
  • Flower Pressing
  • Character Study: Victorian/Edwardian Family Life


  • The Secret Meal
  • Tin Foil Breakfast
  • The Cooking Campfire
  • Creating a Garden Journal
  • Colin’s Exercises
  • Blindfolded Garden Walk
  • Colin’s Magic Chant and Affirmations
  • Affirmation Stones
  • Character Study: Susan Sowerby


  • Scones and Ginger Tea
  • A Taste of Summer
  • Paper Garden Model
  • Garden Games for Family and Friends
  • Blind Man’s Bluff
  • Red Rover
  • Character Study: Frances Hodgson Burnett


Biography: Valarie BudayrVBheadshot2014

Valarie Budayr is the author of The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes came to our garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Audrey Press). She is a regular contributor to the online magazine Rhythm of the Home and The Little Acorn Enrichment Guides. Valarie is the founder of Jump into a Book, a website dedicated to creating fun activities and adventures for children, families, and all who love books from “our” favorite children’s books. . Valarie is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and encouraging families and schools to pull books off the shelves and stories off the pages.

She is the owner and creative director of Audrey Press, an independent publishing house. Valarie lives at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee with her husband and three children. You can find Valarie writing daily on her award winning blog “A Place Like This.”


Illustrator: MarilynScott-Waters         mswHeadshot

Marilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper. Her popular website,www.thetoymaker.com, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things.

She is the creator of a paper toy craft book series The Toymaker’s Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymaker’s Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling). She is also the co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). Ms. Scott-Waters illustrated The Search For Vile Things (Scholastic), and created paper engineering for Pop & Sniff Fruit (Piggy Toes Press).

Websites:  *Facebook *Google+ *Book Website *Blog *Twitter  *Amazon  *Pinterest *Goodreads




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