Cover Image: The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I received an e-arc of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

3.5/5 stars

The Secret Garden will forever be one of my favorite children's books so when I saw this graphic novel version I needed to read it. 

While the art style isn't something that I typically go for in graphic novels, I do feel that it still fit the book rather well. It gave me a sort of Madeline vibes in the art style and definitely made me feel a bit closer to the time frame this story takes place. The graphic novel is a great new way to enjoy the beautiful story of The Secret Garden and I loved the facts that were included at the end of the graphic novel. Overall a wonderful new imagining of a beloved classic children's book.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this graphic novel depiction of The Secret Garden. I have yet to read the original work but have watched the movie countless times and this piece of art really captured all of the feelings the movie gives me. I think this is the perfect GN to start off Spring, it's so bright and full of greens and florals that I felt like I wanted to be in the book! I also think that this was the perfect length and depth for a children's GN, it covered all of the plot without hitting some of the darker parts too deeply that might have been hard visually for children. I also enjoyed the fact that the authors use the end of the book to talk about why they decided to not include pieces of the story and to ask questions and talk about the story and the plants within it! I think the style of the art and the colors perfectly captured the vibes of the original story. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and, Andrews McMeel Publishing for my ARC!
Was this review helpful?
I was granted eARC access to The Secret Garden graphic novel adaptation by Mariah Marsden and Hannah Luechtefeld through NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest. 

This graphic novel adaptation is all the important beats and dialogue of the original classic children's tale trimmed down to fit into 192 illustrated pages. This is a great option for younger readers, less confident readers, and less interested readers who still want or need to read The Secret Garden. It's both more entertaining and more accessible than reading the original text without losing anything that made the original what it is. 

The art style reminds me of Madeline, but with epically expressive and hilarious facial expressions and a livelier colour palette, and I love it!
Was this review helpful?
I am not familiar with this classic but reading this book was so much fun. The illustrations is absolutely beautiful especially all of the flowers and the garden. This is such a fun and memorable read about surrounding by good company and the gorgeous surrounding of making the secret garden alive again. I would recommend other readers to read this graphic novel for those familiar and unfamiliar with this tale.
Was this review helpful?
I'd been wanting to read The Secret Garden for a while now, so when I saw this graphic novel version on NetGalley, I got really excited. I absolutely love reading graphic novels because I love seeing how they bring the story alive and I think this one did a pretty good job. I want to emphasize "think" because I haven't read the classic so I can't really say how good of a job this graphic novel did of translating the story into a graphic one. However, I can with certainty say that I absolutely loved the artwork and felt that it did a great job of expressing the magical element of the story. If it depended on the artwork alone, I would have rated this book 5 stars, but it also depends on the actual story and that's why I had to rate it 3.5 stars. For someone who had not read this story before, it felt like the story was a bit too general and moved too quickly from event to event. I understand that not all content can fit into a graphic novel version, but I do think more could've gone into it. All in all, this was a quick and fun read and I'm happy to have finally read a version of this classic.
Was this review helpful?
The art and text of this graphic version is very reminiscent of the film with Kate Maberly, and the story is somewhat abridged. I love the color palette!
Was this review helpful?
Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden" has always been a favourite of mine, and this was a sweet homage to the original story. The drawings were clear and charming, and I loved the style of them. Simplistic without being basic, somehow.

That said, I don't think I would recommend this graphic novel to somebody who hadn't read the original book - or at least, only to children too young for the full-length book. There's very little dialogue indeed, with most of the story being told through the pictures - which works quite well, as it's not a very complex plot, but it does mean that quite a lot has to be left out. 

But as a quick reminder for somebody who has read the book several times? A lovely reminder, that only served to make me feel like rereading the original.
Was this review helpful?
💚 Thank you, Net Galley, author, and publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this beautifully illustrated graphic novel of The Secret Garden that will be available June 2021. 

⚘The story was sweetly done, but anyone who has read the original version will notice a few differences, which left the overall storyline a bit lacking. The real review, in my opinion, is based on the artwork of the illustrator. I've never seen the artwork of Hanna Luechtefeld before, and this graphic novel was beautifully done. It's exactly how I pictured the novel in my mind when I read the original novel many years ago. I can definitely see this artwork appealing to young children. I would recommend this book as a read-along, or to a child who isn't interested in reading the actual novel itself. This would be a cute replacement.

I also really enjoyed the background on the book and author, and the glossary of terms included in the end. 

⚘I gave this book five stars due to the illustration, but in regards to the actual story, I would probably give it three stars.
Was this review helpful?
I've never read the original Secret Garden, but this graphic novel adaptation is so good it makes me want to. The piece is a beautiful exploration of friendship, nature, magic, and grief, told in exquisite hand-done done drawings that are so detailed and atmospheric. The graphic novel format allows the storytellers to zoom and focus the story on moments and details in a way that is so enticing. The book feels like a Victorian storybook with a fresh twist.

I found the story itself to be lacking to parts, especially when Mary Lennox didn't feel like a fully formed character and the story of Colin relied on ableist tropes. However, this is the fault of a century-old source text, and not the beautiful adaptation. 

The storytellers chose to leave out the backstory of British colonialism in India, but do address it in a section in the back of the book on “Places and Spaces in The Secret Garden.” Also included in the back of the book is an overview on the life of the original author of The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett, and a glossary of terms  including flora and fauna, all of which I found to be enriching supplements to the graphic novel. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This is a beautiful way to introduce this classic to young readers! I loved the illustrations. There’s a beautiful contrast between the gloomy gothic feeling of the first part of the book, with the color and light of the garden.
Was this review helpful?
One of my favorite children's classics in a lovely graphic novel format. The art wasn't as amazing as I was hoping from looking at the cover, kind of washed out and grey throughout, but I do like it. I enjoyed revisiting this story.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book charming and the artwork really helped tell the story in a way that young readers can appreciate it. Most have never even heard of land often called "the moors" let alone seen them. The artwork in this book helps them to get a glimpse of the land, being able to picture something helps to immerse themselves in the story. I also appreciated how the book has times where the artwork does the storytelling, there was not a need to use text to cover some of the art, it was enough on its own.

I think this is a great book that can introduce children to some of the classics their parents grew up on.

Thank you NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the chance to read this lovely book!
Was this review helpful?
I got this on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

3.5 ⭐️
When I saw this I thought it was amazing and so fitting, since we've read The Secret Garden for my English course at University this semester! It was my first time reading the book, so I was excited to see a little bit of a different take on it with this graphic novel! It did not disappoint! I think the artstyle was SO nice and fitting, and Mary Lennox being a sour child was captured SO well here 😂
I would say I like this better than the original, even tho I wish it sometimes lingered a tiiiny bit on some moments for extra depth. Overall really happy with it tho!
Was this review helpful?
Though at first, Mary seemed unlikeable and fairly moody, she gradually starts to soften as she is introduced to nature. Along the way she uncovers secrets both inside and outside her uncle's manor. 

This is beautiful, both in manner of storytelling and illustration. I've always wanted to read The Secret Garden ever since I found an excerpt of of it in my elementary textbook. Alas, I couldn't find a copy of it at all when I was that age. Bookstores weren't big in my area and I could not find it in our small town library.

If my younger self had found this earlier, they would have been overjoyed. The visual storytelling and the magical setting would have delighted them a lot. That is not to say I was not impacted by this graphic novel, quite the opposite, actually. I was amazed with the simplicity of the art style yet still being able to portray emotions and scenes with such clarity. The backgrounds simply take the cake for it, though, in my opinion. It really felt as if one were in a magical secret world when I was reading it.

I'd say this was a solid 5/5 stars for me. This is a beautiful retelling of the original novel. I highly recommend this if The Secret Garden was your childhood and you're looking to be hit with a wave of nostalgia or if you have any young ones at home.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 I was a huge fan of The Secret Garden as it was read to our class in 4th grade. My teacher loved it so much and she even turned our entire classroom into our own Secret Garden. I really enjoyed the simple but beautiful art, which made this so much more adaptable to younger readers. It would be great to read with a younger elementary age kid even. I think that the content itself was a bit simplistic and lacking in the magic that I really remembered from the original story. But overall it was easily readable and adaptable to the younger kids.
Was this review helpful?
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A lovely graphic novel based on the much-loved classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett. One of my favourite books as a child, I remember my feeling of awe as I read about the magical secret garden, tucked away behind four walls and forever locked with a secret key.  I could smell and see the garden in my mind’s eye; the twisty, twiny weeded paths hidden behind the high stone walls, gradually blooming under the loving care of a special little girl and her helpers, into a magical fairy kingdom teeming with wonder and colour. Along the way,  touching everyone in its path with its message of pure magic, the theme was clear - there is always a reason to hope, the possibility of re-birth, the comfort and heart-soaring promise of spring, and the dawning and power of transformation and a new day.

As a child, I loved grumpy Miss Mary, (portrayed beautifully here with her golden hair and sullen mouth), recognizing her as an orphan with a terrible past, heroically struggling to find her footing. And Dickon, the wild boy, tamer of animals, speaker to birds is captured perfectly with simple strokes and his cuddly menagerie of furry and feathered friends. And finally there is cousin Colin; spoiled, bed-ridden, terrifying ill of a wasting disease, (what we now know as tuberculosis) with little chance of survival. Hard to like, initially, Colin’s plight is fearful to any child, and in this rendition, the author and illustrator manage to capture his journey to hope lyrically and with great charm. 

Although nothing can touch the magic for me of the original classic, this graphic novel is a book to treasure deeply for its beauty and simplicity, making this wonderful story accessible now to even younger readers, who will no doubt delight in the pictures, get lost in the story, and carry away a sense of wonder and delight from the experience.

On a final note, adults will enjoy it too - the illustrations are beautiful - wistful, ethereal, and muted in shades of teal, burnished pink and gold.  (And don’t we all need another message of hope in this always challenging world.)

A big thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an advance review copy of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This was an awesome adaptation of the classic story! I am a fan of the original, of course, and I love seeing any new version of this! This was no exception. The story is one that we know, but the art is what really brought it to life! It was beautiful. The style of the art really fit the story, and I just loved it! I can’t wait to see it in person! If you love The Secret Garden, you will love this!

I was given an advanced reader's copy via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own
Was this review helpful?
As a real fan from The Secret Garden since my childhood, I couldn't resist! 
The illustrations are so delicate and beautiful!! The birds, the flowers, the colors, so stunning!  Of course that some details from the original story are missed, but it didn´t made the experience be less magic. It's a really good way to introduce the book world and the classics for the children.. 
Thank you so much!! Loved it.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a cute, hearwarming story with adorable illustrations. Fantastic! I can't wait to see more by these authors.
Was this review helpful?
This recreation of the classic story will be a welcome version to read over the stand alone story or outdated movies. Given that this is being released in 2021, I would have liked the art to contribute to a more updated interpretation of the story with elevated emotion. It’s a dark story and the contrast between the manor environment and the secret garden could have been more magical. The animals have a nice design and the amount of wordless panels would make this approachable to a younger audience. Glossary is a nice asset.
Was this review helpful?