Over at A Striped Armchair, I read an entry: Why I Love Being a Book Blogger.  It made me want to give it a go (admittedly, again).

I’m no good at introductions, and they’re typically boring anyway, so I’m going to jump right in with a meme.  Show Me Five Saturday is a meme hosted by That’s a Novel Idea.  I enjoy reading Jenner’s every week over at Find Your Next Book Here.  This last link is where you can find Mr. Linky if you’d like to post your own.  Original hostess is MIA.

(I just linked 3 blogs that I’ve not commented on more than once.  I should lurk less.)

With no furthur ado, Show Me 5 Saturday.

1 Book you read and/or reviewed this week

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

2 Words that describe the book: simply magical

3 Settings where it took place or characters you met:

  • Mary Lennox – a petulant little girl, born in India and forgotten by her parents.  After a cholera outbreak, she moves to England to live with her uncle.  In England, she is educated by the wind, a robin, an animal charmer, a jump-rope, and a hypochondriac.
  • Ben Weatherstaff – a grumpy old gardener who introduces Mary to the robin.  At times unapproachable, he’s really a softie at heart.
  • A robin – at times baffled by the doings of the children, he still assures his mate that they’re harmless.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

  • Yorkshire dialect.  I loved it.  This is a children’s book, but the author didn’t dumb down the dialect for her readers.  I wonder how many kids went around trying to talk Yorkshire after reading this. 🙂
  • The scene from the robin’s perspective.  It was delightful to hear the robin and his mate chatter back and forth, trying to figure out what those silly kids were up to.  “But then she said indulgently that humans were always more clumsy and slow than Eggs and most of them never seemed really to learn to fly at all. You never met them in the air or on tree-tops.”  I cracked up.
  • I loved the descriptions of the spring.  I felt like I read this at just the right time, as plants are unfurling their leaves around me every day, my own seedlings are shooting up, and my mint is going feral.  I remember that the visual experience of the garden was one of my favorite things about the movie as a child, and the same descriptions were adored as an adult.
  • Sheep!  There was a sheep in it.  Anything with a suckling sheep gets extra points.

5 Stars or less for your rating? 5, absolutely.  And I don’t give those out lightly.  I was enchanted with the movie over a decade ago, and I was just as enchanted with the book.  I found myself clapping my hands together in delight, and laughing wildly with the children.  I sent Mister ecstatic text messages: “She was standing in the secret garden!”  I loved it.

In honor of the book, I present my own neighborhood robin.  It isn’t the same species as the English Robin described in the book, but the American Robin is a welcome spring sight here.