Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Book Review: The Secret Garden: A Graphic Novel

The Secret Garden: A Graphic Novel 
by Mariah Marsden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Secret Garden was a huge favourite of mine as a child.
I loved the idea of a garden that no one else could enter with gorgeous flowers and such mystery! It was also one of the first books I can remember having a child in a wheelchair. I have a cousin with cerebral palsy whose been confined to a wheelchair almost all his life I found this to be a very important point to note in my teenage years (my cousin is almost 10 years younger than me). This is one of those books like: Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and others where I tread carefully with re-tellings or new formats as they hold a special place in my heart from when I was young.

However I will confess that one of my own nieces (currently 8 yrs old) loves reading books but tells me that graphic novels are "the best." As a comic collector I don’t disagree with her. And yet oddly, I feel like classics should be classics and remain in novel format most days. But in the interest of possibly having my niece and her sister's favourite medium to share The Secret Garden story I gave this adaptation a shot.

True to the original story, the sentiment is, that being outdoors, amongst gorgeous lowers, sunshine, birds and wildlife can only be positive. Additionally the bonds of friendship and how important it can be to be friendly to everyone; regardless of their station in life or if they ‘report’ to you. This is an important lesson for children (and everyone) to learn and be reminded of. I always remember my father telling me that ‘you never know who your next boss will be’; so try not to alienate anyone. Personally I’m not always very good at it (lol); and so it’s a good reminder.

The artwork is very simple and cute. It felt like it gave it the 'older' feel that this story has always held for me. I like that it’s clearly the same time period (as witnessed by the clothing and wheelchair). The copy of this story I kept from my childhood was actually highly illustrated on glossy paper. Similar to the graphic novel the colours in the home were muted; but within the garden (and most of outdoors) were vibrant. I also liked how many of the lines used in this format are the exact same as the novel. Making this a vey true to the book adaptation.
An excellent option to bring the younger generation into a story that still has a core message relevant today.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

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1 comment:

Leonore Winterer said...

One of the classics I still need to catch up on - in novel form, first, orf course!