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Friday, October 31, 2014

A Year in the Secret Garden Blog Tour, Personal Review and Giveaway :)

A Year in the Secret Garden - Blog Tour Button  

About the Book

A Year in the Secret Garden - cover 

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 Book Description: 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.

Amazon * Audrey Press * Goodreads


*** My Personal Review ***

 First off, if you are not familiar with the book The Secret Garden, then read that before you read this book.  The Secret Garden always appealed to me because of it's roots in Victorian times which is my favorite!  A Year in the Secret Garden is based on the original book, with all kinds of recipes, fun crafts/activites and information :)  It starts with a great intro to the Secret Garden book and goes along with the book month by month sharing all kinds of great things!  I can't even tell you all the wonderful fun this book holds for the readers - but character cutouts, recipes, instructions on how to make and do things just like in the book!  The authors love of the Secret Garden book comes through SO clearly and I am a student of literature so I loved it for the explanations and history of what was happening.  Stories for each month to go along with the book, I think my favorite was the December part just because I love Christmas and everything that goes with it, and the story of the 2 Kings was so cool!  The book also deals with the themes that run through the Secret Garden book, like Death in Victorian England, which was another of my favorite parts (I studied English Literature) :)

 There is just so much to do with this book, and I think kids and adults alike would just love it - I am 38 and I want to cut out the characters and make everything!  By the time you are finished reading A Year In The Secret Garden you will know everything you could want to about the book.  I especially loved the character studies, and the illustrations are absolutely AMAZING!  They are gorgeous and colorful, really bringing the meaning of a garden to life through pictures.  I love the way the illustrator represents the characters from the story :)  I want to make the lemon cookies SO badly!  I think I will try them for the holidays.  

I had September for my highlight, and for this month the author focuses on India which is where Mary was living before coming to Misselthwaite Manor and the secret garden.  There is a recipe for Indian Chicken Curry, how to make a Magic Carpet and more!  Mary Lennox the heroine of the book and Misselthwaite Manor are the spotlights for September.  This is where the book begins :)  I really enjoyed reading this and can't wait to make some of the recipes and crafts!  Definitely a 5 star book. 

About the Author: Valarie Budayr

Valarie BudayrValarie Budayr loves reading and bringing books alive. Her popular website,, inspires children and adults alike to experience their books through play, discovery, and adventure. She is founder of Audrey Press, an independent publishing house, as well as an Amazon and iTunes best-selling author. She has written The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 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.  

Book Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads


About the Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters

Marilyn Scott-WatersMarilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper. Her popular website,, 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 Toymakers Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymakers 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).

Website | Facebook | Google+


A Year in the Secret Garden Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

November 1
Coffee Books & Art (Guest Post)
WS Momma Readers Nook (Book Review)
November 2
Hope to Read (Excerpt)
November 3
Eloquent Articulation (Book Review)
November 4
BeachBoundBooks (Excerpt)
November 5
Monique's Musings (Book Review)
November 6
SOS-Supply (Book Review)
November 7
Randomly Reading (Book Review)
November 8
Adalinc to Life (Book Review)
November 9
100 Pages a Day (Book Review)
November 10
Edventures With Kids (Book Review)
November 11
November 12
Girl of 1000 Wonders (Book Review)
November 13
Seraphina Reads (Guest Post)
November 14
Juggling Act Mama (Book Review)
November 15
Pragmatic Mom (Author/Illustrator Interview)
November 16
Stacking Books (Book Review)
November 17
Oh My Bookness (Book Review)
November 18
November 19
The Blended Blog (Book Review)
November 20
All Done Monkey (Book Review)
November 21
Geo Librarian (Book Review)
Grandbooking (Author/Illustrator Interview)
November 22
November 23
Christy's Cozy Corners (Book Review)
November 24
Bookaholic Chick (Excerpt)
November 25
Ninja Librarian (Guest Post)
November 26
Jane Ritz (Book Review)
Rockin' Book Reviews (Book Review)
November 27
November 28
Deal Sharing Aunt (Book Review)
November 29
Mommynificent (Book Review)
November 30
This Kid Reviews Books (Book Review)
Java John Z's (Author/Illustrator Interview)

* $100 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card 

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: December 7, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.  

MDBR Book Promotion Services  


  1. Oh Erika!! What a GREAT review! I think you nailed it when you say that the authors' love of the original book shines through. I couldn't agree more! I was thinking the same as you... first, I'm making that chicken curry; next; I'm making that skipping rope; next, I'm making the bird feeder, and so on and so on... SO many great ideas. Thanks for taking part in the tour and for your glowing review. Great way to kick off the tour! :-)

  2. Erika, Thank you for being a host on the blog tour and for your very kind words. I can easily speak for both Marilyn and I when I say that creating this book was one of the greatest joys of our lives. I've made the lemon cookie recipe a million times and I can vouch that it's really really good. On the resource page in the book is a link to a download website so you can download the cutouts all you want and can leave your book in perfect condition. Please have many wonderful memories in the Secret Garden. Wishing you many adventures ahead. Thanks for everything !!!

  3. I'm reviewing the August portion of this book so I wanted to hop around and see what others had to say about other months. It really is a stunningly gorgeous book, isn't it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it! I host a book link-up every Thursday at and would love to have you join anytime!


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