The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India and a Hidden World of Art

Written by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola

Nek Chand fled Pakistan and became a refugee in Chandigrah, India in 1947. Nek missed his homeland and decided to create a secret rock garden in 1965. For fifteen years his kingdom built on twelve acres remained hidden from the government. When his kingdom was discovered, Nek was threatened with losing his job and having his art destroyed. Luckily, news had spread and citizens of Chandigrah visited the garden. They were so touched by the artwork that they convinced government officials not to tear it down. Today the rock garden covers forty acres and houses 25 acres of artwork built from recycled materials.

The rock garden is completely new to me and I enjoyed learning about Nek’s inspiration. It was also cool seeing images from his garden that receives three to four thousand visitors daily.

Review by LeeAnne Neilson, Hillside Elementary School Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: 4th-7th Grades

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India and a Hidden World of Art
Written by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola
Candlewick Press
48 pages
Release Date: February 13, 2018
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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