The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, A Changing India And A Hidden World Of Art

Nek Chand was born in the village of Berian Kalan in the Punjab region near the Himalayas.  He grew up listening to stories and building a small world of his own out of sticks, clay, and rocks.  In 1947, with the Partition of India, the Punjab was divided into India and Pakistan.  His Hindu family no longer belonged where they lived and they resettled in Chandigarh, a modern city in India.  Nek found a job as a government roads inspector, but never felt like he belonged.  He found an abandoned forestland and, using natural materials, started building a secret kingdom.  He worked for sixteen years creating this secret garden of art from his imagination.  The gouache and watercolor illustrations are very detailed and there is a foldout of photos of the actual garden and sculptures.  An author’s note gives more background information about Chand’s life and the Nek Chand Foundation.  The book concludes with an extensive bibliography.  mjw
Title: The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, A Changing India, And A Hidden World Of Art
Author: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrator
: Claire A.Nivola
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-7636-7475-5
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book, Biography
Book setting
: Chandigarh, India
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book, 2019 South Asia Book Award
Subjects
: Asia, Biography, Green living, Imagination, Mosaics, Partition, Recycling, Rock garden, Sculptures, Storytelling, Visual arts

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