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Honey Bunch Her First Little Garden by Helen…

Honey Bunch Her First Little Garden (original 1924; edition 1941)

by Helen Thorndyke, Josephine Lawrence (Ghostwriter), Walter S. Rogers (Cover artist), Walter S. Rogers (Illustrator), Marie Schubert (Illustrator)

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Title:Honey Bunch Her First Little Garden
Authors:Helen Thorndyke
Other authors:Josephine Lawrence (Ghostwriter), Walter S. Rogers (Cover artist), Walter S. Rogers (Illustrator), Marie Schubert (Illustrator)
Info:GROSSET & DUNLAP (1941?), Editor: later printing, Hardcover, red boards with dark blue [dark teal in direct sunlight] lettering, top margins of pages stained red, 194 p. [only pp.1-182 are numbered], ill. [b & w frontispiece on glossy paper],standard Marie Schubert pictorial end-papers. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, New York. Made in the USA. The copyright given is 1924 and held by Grossett & Dunlap. After p.182 are ads for these series: Honey Bunch [to Her First Twin Playmates], Bobbsey Twins [to At Indian Hollow], Maida [to Maida's Little Camp], Mary Jane [to Mary Jane's Friends in Holland], Little Indian [to Chippewa Trail].
Collections:Your library
Tags:Honey Bunch, Stratemeyer Syndicate, gardens, flower shows

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Honey Bunch: Her First Little Garden by Helen Louise Thorndyke (1924)



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This book about Honey Bunch and her garden is my favorite in the series and one of the few I actually remembered some things about before rereading it for the first time in 18 years. Perhaps that's because I love flowers and caring for them, too.

Honey Bunch's maternal Uncle Peter starts things by sending her litte garden tools. I wish Ms. Lawrence had bothered to give him a last name. On the other hand, Uncle Peter's favorite flower is the same as mine and he does seem to be a very nice uncle.

The book follows the garden from its planning to beautiful blooming. Readers are given plenty of tips for successful gardening. True to the old-fashioned virtue of helping the less fortunate, Mrs. Morton teaches Honey Bunch how to make a book garden to give to a little girl in the hospital. (We also get to learn that this sweet little girl has a minor fault -- sometimes she forgets and wipes her hands on her dress when they have library paste on them. She doesn't appear to eat library paste, though.)

Honey Bunch has the nice idea of planting her friends' and relatives' favorite flowers in the garden. I had to look some of the flowers up. They're all pretty.

Honey Bunch keeps being told she must have patience. That reminds her of her Great-Aunt Patience, whose portrait is in the attic, and makes her wonder about that lady.

The frontispiece shows Daddy Morton (he has a mustache and is quite good-looking) watching Honey Bunch spading her new garden. Norman Clark and Lady Clare are sitting on the fence and watching, too. I like the way Norman seems to be craning his neck to see better.

Lady Clare's eyes are back to being green -- I wonder if some readers pointed out the mistake to the publishers? She's a bit of a cat pest in this book because she keeps lying on the soil and then the plants. Honey Bunch remembers the scarecrow on her Uncle Rand Morton's farm and thinks a 'scare-cat' might work.

Honey Bunch is planning to take Lady Clare to see her chum Ida's cat, Raymond when she notices an elderly woman in a wheelchair is watching her. Honey Bunch tells her about her idea. Mrs. Lancaster makes the scare-cat and gives Honey Bunch some special seeds her late husband had been breeding for years but died before he could test this last batch. Mrs. Lancaster now lives in her cousin's boarding house where there's no room for a garden so she's interested in seeing how the seeds will grow.

Even before they bloom a visiting Uncle Peter guesses what they are because his and Mrs. Morton's grandmother grew that same flower.

A subplot involves a game of pirates Norman and his friends play. They demand loot from Honey Bunch and her friends. Most of the loot is returned at the end of the game, but some of it is lost. I'm not sure how Norman lost one item because he'd put it around his neck -- unless he took it off afterwards.

The secret flowers excite a lot of comment. Will Honey Bunch enter them in the flower show as suggested?

My copy was once given to someone named Marcia by another someone named Myrna Clark on February 27, 1942. The Honey Bunch books list inside goes up to Her First Twin Playmates, which was published in 1941, so my copy may have been new when given to Marcia. Grosset & Dunlap didn't bother to modernize the title of Her First Trip on an Airplane. It's still spelled 'Aeroplane'. ( )
  JalenV | May 5, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Helen Louise Thorndykeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lawrence, JosephineGhostwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rogers, Walter S.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schubert, MarieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'HONEY BUNCH,' said Ida Camp suddenly, 'there's an express wagon stopping at your door.'
Honey Bunch peeped over the fence and Mrs. Lancaster held out a square brown envelope to her.

'Seeds,' she said mysteriously. 'Our secret seeds. Remember you are not to tell anyone except your mother.' (chapter 7)
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