The Secret Gardens of Frances Hodgson Burnett

The inspiring, beauty-from-ashes life story of the beloved author of The Secret Garden.

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40 pages • 9 in x 10 in • Ideal for kids 4-8 years old
Thoughtfully created by
author Angelica Shirley Carpenter

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About the book

“Beauties blossom aplenty in this welcome volume. The Secret Gardens of Frances Hodgson Burnett can’t fail to captivate the minds and hearts of young readers and even, perhaps, plant some seeds there.” —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, co-founder of Children’s Literature New England

“The gray drudgery of industrial Manchester, England, contrasts with the vivid floral hues of Burnett’s gardens in stunning illustrations that perfectly pair with the book’s timeless message: ‘hope is never far for those who can imagine.’”—Foreword Reviews, Starred Review

Frances Hodgson Burnett—best known for writing The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Little Princess—had a difficult life, losing her father when she was very young, moving to a new country in the face of economic turmoil, and suffering the loss of a son and a marriage later in life. But Frances? She could imagine anything, and she used her gifts to transform grief and hardship into beautiful works of literature that lifted the spirits of millions around the world. This is her story.

Additional accolades:

“Burnett’s own rags-to-riches story is compelling, too. The distinctive illustrations bring her gardens to life on the page through the graceful forms and rich, varied colors of trees, bushes, vines, and flowers….the theme of gardens as a source of beauty and healing is evident throughout this engaging biographical narrative.” —Booklist

“I am delighted to think that this lovely picture book will encourage children (and indeed their parents) to read The Secret Garden, one of the best children’s books ever written.” —Ann Thwaite, prize-winning British biographer, author of Beyond the Secret Garden: The Life of Frances Hodgson Burnett

“Burnett’s The Secret Garden is known to many, but the beautifully written and illustrated The Secret Gardens of Frances Hodgson Burnett introduces her extraordinary life to young readers, and will inspire them to create gardens of their own.” —Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, Award-winning Author of Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Life, Professor of English, Paul Murray Kendall Chair in Biography, University of Massachusetts

“Angelica Carpenter tells the full and inspiring story of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ever- changing life - through hardships and fame - which she faced with her indomitable spirit and her love of words. Beyond the biographical details is a wealth of information. As the pages turn and the years pass, Helena Perez Garcia’s detailed and glorious illustrations of bright bursting flowers and color are like a walk through a dazzling sunlit garden. The story and pictures reflect the undaunted spirit of a born writer who solved any problem with words and imagination.” —Aliki, beloved author/illustrator of more than fifty books for children


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  • Angelica Shirley Carpenter

    Angelica Shirley Carpenter writes biographies for young people and older readers, too. Her subjects are authors—Frances Hodgson Burnett, L. Frank Baum, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lewis Carroll, and Matilda Joslyn Gage. She lives with her husband in Fresno, California. A self-proclaimed Oz nut, she is a past president of the International Wizard of Oz Club. In her former life she was a librarian, the founding curator of the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children's Literature at California State University, Fresno.

    Angelica Shirley Carpenter 
  • Helena Pérez García

    Helena Pérez García is a Spanish illustrator whose work has appeared across magazines, newspapers, packaging, and books for children and adults internationally. Her illustrations are conceptual, whimsical, and rich in detail and color. Helena’s primary medium is gouache, and her main sources of inspiration are art, literature, and cinema. After completing a fine arts degree in Spain, Helena relocated to London in 2012, where she lived and worked for six years. During this period, and driven by the artistic history and cultural influences of the city and the country, Helena developed her characteristic style. She relocated to Madrid in 2018, where she is currently based. Some of her clients include Penguin Random House, The Body Shop, Tate Publishing, The Financial Times, Reader’s Digest, and Il Corriere della Sera, amongst many others.

    Helena Pérez García 
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