The Secret Garden Little Golden Book

Written by Frances Gilbert and Frances Hodgson Burnette

Golden Books, 2017
Medium: Photoshop

Who could say no to illustrating a Little Golden Book?? Iconic!

Who could say no to illustrating one of their own favorite stories about magic, renewal, and the emotional effects of gardening? Not me!

On my ninth birthday I went to the movies with my mom and little sister to see The Secret Garden. I had already read the book many times, and I’d watched a made for TV movie version rented from the video store, but the 1993 The Secret Garden knocked my socks right off! I only saw myself in Mary Lennox, and I wished I could exist in her magical Victorian era mansion garden frilly dress little button boots world. A world where a little sparrow leads you to find a long forgotten key to a long forgotten garden. 

When it came time to work on this, I was behind schedule AND creatively burnt out, which is a difficult combo. I remember beginning sketches and thinking “this is not going as well as I had hoped!” and simultaneously feeling that I needed to STEP ON IT and get SOMETHING accomplished fast. I stopped myself. I hit the creative brakes. I went to Amoeba music in Hollywood and bought a DVD of The Secret Garden (the phenomenon of everything existing on a streamer was not in full effect just yet). I spent the afternoon watching, sketching, and remembering how this story made me feel back in 1993. I returned to my desk with a sense of calm, because I knew just what I needed to draw. The sketches flowed out of my stylus easily. 

Little Golden Books are especially fun because of their ubiquity. They can be found in bookstores, but also in gift shops and sometimes in unexpected places like a news stand or a pharmacy. I’ve had the delightful experience of seeing my own version of The Secret Garden in many such places. I hope that young readers catch even a fraction of the magic that I experienced when I encountered this timeless story.

Want to know even more?

Join my brand new email list, and get the occasional update, from me! There will definitely be pictures, illustrations, stories, sharing of book launches and all around fun and magical things!