Things I Am Loving: The Secret Garden


Pssst. Don’t tell the Minx, but I just bought her a colouring book for our plane ride at the weekend.


Secret Garden photography by


Well, to be more accurate I’ve just bought myself a colouring book, as I’m sure she would probably prefer to be plugged into an electronic device of some sort.

But honestly, who in their right mind could resist the intricate and magical pen and ink drawings in Secret Garden by ‘ink evangelist’ Johanna Basford?


Secret Garden photography by


Secret Garden photography by


Twelve hours on a plane doesn’t seem nearly so long now. (Check out this review from the Guardian, which includes some printable pages to download).

Speaking of The Secret Garden, which remains one of my favourite children’s books of all time, check out these beautiful clothbound keepsake editions of children’s classics from Puffin, designed by the amazing Daniela Terrazzini.


Secret Garden photography by


Secret Garden photography by Secret Garden photography by
Secret Garden photography by Secret Garden photography by
Secret Garden photography by Secret Garden photography by

As the mother of an utterly voracious and rather advanced reader I’m the finding the classics to be one of the best ways of giving the Minx age-appropriate reading material. I understand from the Internet that these beautiful books can be hard to track down, but we found ours at the weekend in Seattle’s wonderful Elliott Bay Bookstore. Some are also available on Amazon. (There are some more boy-friendly options too.)

I, er the Minx, can’t wait to read them.



  1. says

    oh wow, niece #4 loves drawing detailed geometric patterns and colouring them in, i’m sure she would love this. must investigate…

  2. says

    Those books are just stunning! Your daughter sounds like me at that age… I practically gobbled books whole. Has she read “Mandy” by Julie Andrews (Edwards)? It was one of my favorites, very much along the lines of The Secret Garden. I also loved “Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell.

  3. says

    Oh my goodness…I would have gone totally bonkers for that coloring book at the Minx’s age. I still might.

    And I second the rec for “Island of the Blue Dolphins”!

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