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Marilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper.
Her popular website, www.thetoymaker.com, 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 Toymaker’s Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymaker’s 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).
On top all of this…..Marilyn is also my co-author and co-creator of the newly released children’s book A Year in the Secret Garden.
I have known of Marilyn for almost 10 years now and these last three years have been a delight. It started in September of 2011 when I went to St. Paul Minnesota to attend The Creative Connection Conference. I was sitting in a hotel lounge writing in my notebook when this very cheerful woman came up to me and said, “Oh you have a Moleskin. Can I pull up a chair and sit down?” Never would I say no to such a request. As she sat down she said,” Hi I’m Marilyn from California.”
And that’s when it all made sense. ” Are you Marilyn Scott Waters The Toymaker?” I asked. After she confirmed she was I admitted I had been buying and downloading her paper toys for years. Small world!
For the next four days we, The Toymaker and I, had ample time to become friends and I even got to make toys with her. Over the course of our ongoing friendship we have mentioned to each other that we need to creatively collaborate on something. A book, a project….something. Then last fall we both had a flash of brilliance and the A Year in the Secret Garden book project was born.
Marilyn and I both agree that the process of creating this amazing children’s book filled with over 140 pages of activities, crafts, recipes, gardening fun and also education opportunities along with 200 original color illustrations. There is a total of 48 activities for families and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. Marilyn and I have a mission of offering A Year In the Secret Garden as an 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.
Marilyn shared with me that creating this book for families almost felt like a calling, and I wholeheartedly agree. We both have put 110% into making A Year in The Secret Garden a unique and enchanting experience that encourages families to push away from the “i-devices” and create some memories together. Marilyn is a former art director and design guru and this is sooooo evident in her breathtaking creations for this book.
As we pieced this unique book together which was inspired by the classic children’s tale The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, we both knew we wanted this to be a book for all ages to enjoy, and also a reason for parents to spend time outside with their kids enjoying and discovering the beauty of nature, just like young Mary did in the original book.
A Year in the Secret Garden book is now available in PDF download form HERE. If you’d like a more in-depth look at the magical fun inside the pages of A Year in the Secret Garden, or order your special pre-sell copy of the physical book, go HERE to view a list of activities, recipes and learning opportunities connected to the book.