Welcome to Day 6 of the 365 Days of Children’s Books series!
My children and I have read this aloud a couple of times, and it’s a book for all ages. I read it when we had preschoolers that played with their doll houses as they listened in, all the way to middle schoolers who couldn’t wait to hear the next page.
This might be a great book for those with older children, 2nd or 3rd grade and up.
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The Secret Garden
Book: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Illustrator: Robert Ingpen
The Secret Garden is truly a page-turner! And being a page-turner is one of my criteria that makes a great read aloud for my children.
We have this particular version of The Secret Garden, which I highly recommend due to its stunning illustrations! They are scattered nicely throughout the story and add so much richness to the book.
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. We love discussing how Mistress Mary is quite contrary and how she changes throughout the course of the book. Her relationships with Dickon and Colin are fascinating to read as they unfold.
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. Instead of this being a stumbling block, we had fun with it!
Even now, one of my kiddos will ask me a question in their best Yorkshire accent. It’s hysterical!
Talking About The Secret Garden with Your Children
I adore The Secret Garden for many reasons, however, I mostly enjoy that it provides an opportunity for many talking points with my children. Here are a few things that we discussed:
★ Do you think Mary’s parents enjoyed her being around? Why or why not? What gives you clues to your conclusion?
★ Some children have parents that don’t show much love or affection, as is the case with Mary. How do you think that changed her as a child? What are the effects of that?
★ We must be careful what we tell ourselves. If we say it enough times, we might believe it! This certainly seemed to be the case with Colin and his “sickness.” What are positive things I can say about myself?
★ How would you describe the friendship between Dickon, Mary, and Colin?
★ Describe Misselthwaite Manor. Is it a place you would like to live? Why or why not? What is the neatest part of the house?
★ How do you think Mary felt when she discovered the garden? Name at least 3 emotions she might have felt.
The conversations about The Secret Garden can go on and on. It is one of our most discussed books here at the Hill House, actually. The themes and talking points are abundant!
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