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

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

The incredible story of the world's largest visionary environment: the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, kept secret by outsider artist Nek Chand for fifteen years. After the partition of India in 1947, Nek Chand Saini settled in the city of Chandigarh, with nothing but stories brought from his homeland. Dismayed at his stark new surroundings, Nek began collecting river rocks, bro The incredible story of the world's largest visionary environment: the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, kept secret by outs...

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Title:The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art
Author:Barb Rosenstock
Rating:
Genres:Childrens
ISBN:0763674753
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:48 pages pages

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

  • Mary Lee
    Feb 11, 2018
    Pair this book with OUTSIDE IN by Jennifer Bradbury. Nek Chand is the historical character who saves the life of the fictional homeless boy in OUTSIDE IN. Also perfect to show how the experiences of someone's childhood can turn into their lifelong passions. ...
  • Kathy
    Feb 23, 2018
    Some people are driven to make art, with no expectations for sale or fame. I had heard of the Watts Towers in LA (https://www.wattstowers.org/about-us) and the bottle houses of Grandma Prisbrey (https://speakzeasy.wordpress.com/2015...) , but not Nek Chand of India who created a simila...
  • Rachel
    Jul 11, 2018
    A rich biography of a unique artist uses illustrations and then has a full page fold out of photographs which is very effective. ...
  • Bill
    Jan 31, 2018
    Fascinating man and story. But not particularly well-written. Illustrations more noteworthy. ...
  • Tasha
    Jan 04, 2019
    A nonfiction picture book look at the incredible Rock Garden of Chandigarh. Chand grew up happily in a small village in the Punjab region of India. He grew up there, hearing stories and building palaces on the sand near the river. As an adult, he became a farmer but everything changed ...
  • Lynn
    Dec 13, 2018
    This beautiful book is a lovely tribute to the power of art. Rosenstock's lyrical text is wonderfully illustrated in watercolor and gouache by Claire Nivola in richly detailed and colorful scenes tat beg to be carefully appreciated. I loved Nivola's earlier book, In My Father's Village...
  • Mitchell
    Feb 15, 2019
    A fun random kid's biography. I've certainly not been to the garden in this book. But I've been to https://www.seerockcity.com/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterse... which have kind of a similar flavor. It was a fun book and yet passed on a bunch of history and societal change a...
  • Barbara
    Mar 11, 2019
    Once India was separated into two countries--India and Pakistan--Nek Chand Saini was one of those individuals who was forced to resettle in a different place. Because his village was in the Muslim section of Pakistan and his family was Hindu, they needed to move into a different part o...
  • Kermit
    Mar 18, 2018
    4.3 stars So interesting! I had to do some additional research on this amazing man and the "secret kingdom" that he created in India. ...
  • Tami
    May 04, 2018
    True story - Even in war and displacement one can build, create and love the beauty of not only what grows but to create from discards, art. Art can be a remembrance of the things we love. I love the dedication of Nek Chand and what he has created in a part of the world where war is st...
  • Arminzerella
    Apr 10, 2018
    Nek Chand grew up in the Punjab and absorbed the stories and culture of his village and people. He became a farmer, but had to leave his home when the area was split into two countries ? India and Pakistan. His farm was now in Pakistan and his people/religion ? Hindu ? were no lo...
  • Arleigh
    Jan 11, 2018
    This story follows a boy named Nek Chand as he grows up in the village of Barian Kalan in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan. He had an ideal childhood, learning his people?s history and legends through the work and festivities of every season. When the Hindu people were expel...
  • Sunday Cummins
    Feb 10, 2018
    The kind of book you'll want to use with students--of all ages. Read this aloud to students, letting them savor the author Rosenstock's language--"Nek played and planted, laughed and listened, as the ancient stories circled with seasons, beginning to end and back again." Share with sma...
  • Cheriee Weichel
    Aug 15, 2018
    I haven't yet met a Barb Rosenstock book I haven't loved. This might be the best one yet. It tells the story of Nek Chand, folk artist extraordinaire, who created a hidden world that reflected the multiple stories of the town he grew up in. Claire A. Nivola's illustrations are stunni...
  • Alex (not a dude) Baugh
    May 14, 2018
    Nek Chand loved living in his village of Berian Kalan in the Punjab region of India before the Partition of 1947. He especially loved listening to the ancient stories that were always being told there by the whole community. As a child, Nek began to build a world of his own based on th...
  • Margie
    May 06, 2018
    If there is ever any doubt in your mind about one person's ability to effect change in the lives of many, all you need to do is read a picture book biography. Authors writing picture book biographies and illustrators creating the artwork for these volumes, immerse themselves in a parti...
  • Sarah
    Mar 05, 2019
    Ned Chand was forced to leave his home when Pakistan split off from India. Relocated in a place far from and much different from home, Ned secretly began to build the kingdom he remembered from stories combined with his true home. When the government threatened to bulldoze it, supporte...
  • Sue Poduska
    Aug 23, 2018
    The author paints a fascinating picture of the life that Nek lived. The reader is transported to a world unlike the one they live in. Beautiful and detailed illustrations show both the familiar and unfamiliar. The villagers dress differently from Westerners, but the trash they collect ...
  • Pam
    Feb 22, 2018
    Biography of Nek Chand Saini and the Secret Kingdom he created. Tells his story from childhood through fleeing to India and then the years creating this artwork. Beautiful illustrations support the text. Biographic info at the end following the story. Fold out pages with actual pho...
  • Diana Thomsen
    Aug 21, 2018
    Unique story about a person of which I'd never heard. Love that he turned junk into art, and seeing the actual photographs of his work was a treat. Gotta say, though, that I'm not a huge fan of breaking laws. Even to create art. I think it given a bad message to say that he built all t...
  • Lesley Burnap
    Aug 01, 2018
    A beautiful story of Nek Chand, who stored away trash & other unwanted items to create one of the most unusual, most stunning art installations. The stories that delighted & entertained Nek as a child are represented in his art. What makes this such an fascinating read is that ...
  • Rani
    Feb 17, 2019
    Uprooted by the partition of India in 1947, Nek Chand Saini carries the stories and memories form his heart. He used discarded construction materials and created sculptures of animals and people, which eventually grew into a 13-acre wonderland. #garden #art #India #recycle #Rockgar...
  • Aliza Werner
    Mar 10, 2018
    An artist creating out of nature, recyclables, and trash. Pair with IN MARY'S GARDEN by Tina and Carson Kugler. ...
  • Becky B
    Feb 19, 2019
    A picture book biography of Nek Chand, a man who grew up in the region that is now part of Pakistan, escaped as a refugee when the countries divided, and settled outside of Chandigarh where he secretly started an art project he developed over years using only reclaimed materials. When ...
  • Stephanie Tournas
    Mar 19, 2018
    This lovely picture book biography brings to light a little known (in the U.S., at least) artist from India, Nek Chand. I loved reading about this creative, resourceful and thoughtful "outside" artist. As an imaginative child growing up in a small village, he was mesmerized by folk ta...
  • Reshamad
    Nov 22, 2018
    The Secret Kingdom is a picture book biography of Nek Chand who built a secret rock garden in the outskirts of Chandigarh. Nek Chand was born in a village of Berian Kalan in Punjab. He grew up listening to stories and folk lores that fascinated him. He channeled his fascination into bu...
  • Joan Marie
    Apr 28, 2018
    I love the way this nonfiction is written. It's really a lyrical, narrative biography about a self-taught artist, Nek Chand who brought beauty to an otherwise colorless, barren world for those displaced from their homes. Illustrations add to the delight. Here's an example of the lyr...
  • Liz
    Feb 27, 2019
    I like the story and I like that it mentioned the partition without directly focusing on it. With other similar titles coming out on the topic, it's nice to have some that are not deeply depressing or distressing for young readers. The centerfold photographs were lovely. I was readi...
  • Elizabeth
    Mar 21, 2019
    Secret Kingdom by Barb Rosenstock, illustrations by Claire A. Nivola is about how the country of Punjab was split into two countries, Pakistan and India. The text follows a young boy Nek whose perspective provides insight into the history and consequences of this type of conflict. Thou...
  • RLL220_Amanda Alvarado
    May 13, 2018
    The Secret Kingdom is about Nek Chand Saini who lived in a tiny village of Berian Kalan. Nek spent his childhood listing to ancient stories that he loved. His village was perfect until The Punjab split into two countries Pakistan and India. Nek found acres of jungle and started buildin...