“A Year in the Secret Garden” book blast hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Hello, everyone! Paul here today hoping you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for so many things that I don’t know were to begin. One story I’d like to share involves a friend of mine. He is a physical therapist, and I went to him when I was recovering from my shoulder surgeries. Well, I still go to his gym, and we’ve become good friends. The thing is, he’s got muscular dystrophy. It is quite sobering to walk into the gym after some minor thing at work has bothered me. I walk in and see him smiling and working with such a great attitude that it puts things in perspective. He is a great person, and I am very thankful for him. I only hope that some breakthrough in the research of muscular dystrophy occurs. Okay, now for the book blast!


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.




Great News!

You can purchase your very own copy of this gorgeous book for only $15 (a savings of $5) directly from Audrey Press between Dec. 1 and 7, 2014. PLUS, if you miss these dates, you can still purchase the book between December 8 and 31, 2014 for $15 using the code word “SECRETGARDEN”.




Amazon * Audrey Press * Goodreads


Blog Tour Excerpts


The Blog Tour for A Year in the Secret Garden took place Nov. 1 to 30, 2014. Below you will find review excerpts from some of the participating blogs as well as links to a guest post by the author and an interview with the illustrator. Click HERE for the full Tour Schedule and the full list of participating blogs.

A Year in the Secret Garden is a treasure trove of activities, crafts, games, recipes and information all related to the classic children’s book, The Secret Garden, bringing to life this wonderful book to a new generation of readers. I cannot recommend this beautifully illustrated and detailed, information-packed book highly enough to parents, homeschoolers, teachers, and librarians.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“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.” ~ WS Momma Readers Nook

Guest Post by Author Valarie Budayr: “A brief article on A Year in The Secret Garden” ~ Coffee, Books & Art

“A perfect book not only for the summer activities but all through the year. Truly it shows the way into the SECRET GARDEN.” ~ Eloquent Articulation

“These ladies have created a fabulous book that can stand alone or be used as companion to the classic either in a classroom setting, or homeschool setting or for anyone that loves to share great literature and activities with their children.” ~ Adalinc to Life

“While the children enjoyed the activities associated with this book, I was entranced by the beautiful water color illustrations and the scrumptious looking images of foods to make. I am certain that any person who grew up hoping to find that secret key to let them into an enchanting garden will fall in love with the magic inside this book to share with their children.” ~ Books, Babies and Bows

Interview with Illustrator, Marilyn Scott-Waters: “A Year in the Secret Garden Interview” ~ Pragmatic Mom

“This would make such a nice Christmas gift for a young one to grow up with. Why not add a copy of the reading book and maybe even the DVD and some supplies to do an activity or two. ” ~ The Blended Blog

“It is a wonderful, hands on, practical way to take kids on a journey back in time and see how children and families lived in another era.” ~ Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking


Month by Month Guide


  • Indian Style Chicken Curry
  • Rangoli
  • Magic Carpets
  • Misselthwaite Manor
  • Character Study: Mary Lennox
  • Ploughman’s Lunch



  • Cutouts of the Secret Garden Characters
  • Planting Bulbs
  • The English Garden
  • Character Study: Mrs. Medlock


  • Hot Oatcakes
  • Jump Rope
  • Plastic Bag Jump Rope
  • Jump Rope Rhymes
  • Shovel, Shovel, Spade
  • Character Study: Ben Weatherstaff

A Year in the Secret Garden - Inside Pages 26 27


  • Bringing in the Evergreen
  • Yorkshire Pudding Toad-in-a-Hole
  • The Oak King vs. The Holly King
  • The Story of Mistletoe
  • Character Study: Martha Sowerby


  • Parkin Cake
  • Wutherin’ Wind Flags
  • Ice Disks
  • Yorkshire Phrasebook
  • Character Study: Dickon Sowerby
  • Perfectly Good Porridge with Treacle


  • Oaten Pipe
  • Garden in a Jar
  • Death in Victorian England
  • Character Study: Archibald Craven

A Year in the Secret Garden - February


  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • Nest Building
  • Seed Paper & Packets
  • Grow-Me Seed Paper
  • Seed Packets
  • Class of Hunger
  • Character Study: Colin Craven


  • Robin Cake
  • Dickon’s Felt Creatures
  • The World of Mason Bees
  • Making of a Mason Bee House
  • British Money
  • Old British Money
  • Character Study: Dr. Craven



  • Freezer Strawberry Jam
  • Planting a Rose Bush
  • Wheelbarrow Race
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Spot-Sitting
  • Character Study: Lilias Craven

A Year in the Secret Garden - Inside Pages 84 85


  • A Midsummer Garden Tea Party
  • Ladybug Sandwiches
  • Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
  • Simply Divine Lemon Cookies
  • Daisy Chain Crowns
  • Midsummer Dancing Ribbon Wreaths
  • Flower Pressing
  • Character Study: Victorian/Edwardian Family Life


  • The Secret Meal
  • Tin Foil Breakfast
  • The Cooking Campfire
  • Creating a Garden Journal
  • Colin’s Exercises
  • Blindfolded Garden Walk
  • Colin’s Magic Chant and Affirmations
  • Affirmation Stones
  • Character Study: Susan Sowerby


  • Scones and Ginger Tea
  • A Taste of Summer
  • Paper Garden Model
  • Garden Games for Family and Friends
  • Blind Man’s Bluff
  • Red Rover
  • Character Study: Frances Hodgson Burnett


About the Author: Valarie Budayr


Valarie BudayrValarie Budayr loves reading and bringing books alive. Her popular website, Jump Into A Book, 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, The Toymaker, 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+


* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *


Amazon 100 gift card

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: December 31, 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.

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Paul R. Hewlett

Paul R. Hewlett is the author of the Lionel's Grand Adventure Series, beginning chapter books for children. He is also the co-author of the kidlit blog Sher A. Hart: Written Art. His debut book, Lionel and the Golden Rule, was released in December of 2011. He released his second book, Lionel's Christmas Adventure, in November of 2012. You can learn more about Paul and his books at his website: paulrhewlett.weebly.com.

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