Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid: How Vanda Miss Joaquim Became Singapore's National Flower
Nominated for the 2019 Singapore Book Awards, Best Children's Picture Book
Linda Locke and James Wolf
Illustrated by Muhd Noh
In the 1800s, a girl named Agnes Joaquim was passionate about plants. She even learned to grow cool-weather European vegetables in the tropical heat of Singapore. As she grew up, she collected many prizes for her plants. One day, after many trials and difficulty, she created a brand-new orchid. She showed it to an orchid expert named Henry Ridley, who officially named the flower the Vanda Miss Joaquim. This is the story of how one woman's ingenuity and determination created a flower that became world famous...and Singapore's National Flower in 1981.
About the Authors
Linda Locke is a great-grandniece of Agnes Joaquim, and the story of Agnes and the creation of the Vanda Miss Joaquim is also a family story. She was previously a chief executive and creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, and chairman and regional creative director of Leo Burnett Advertising, and has more than 300 creative awards to her name. She later started her own consultancy, Godmother Pte Ltd, and held several key positions at Club21, a luxury fashion distributor. She now serves on the board of two companies. This is her first children’s book.
James Wolf has researched Singapore history for many years. He was thrilled to help prepare this book about one of the nation state’s greatest icons.
About the Illustrator
Muhammad Noh Arjuna (also known as Muhd Noh) is an illustrator with a Diploma in Animation from Nanyang Polytechnic. Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid is his second children’s picture book. He illustrated Dewi: The Day the Earth Shook, part of the Asia’s Lost Legends series, in 2017. He currently works in an animation and post production studio. Muhd Noh is keenly interested in art and animation to visualise his imagination and curiosity. He enjoys watching cartoons and collecting picture books. He loves animals, in particular, cats.
"Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid chronicles the remarkable journey of a brilliant horticulturist. An excellent introduction to our national flower, this wonderful book also provides a glimpse into the orchid breeding process. Singapore has a rich heritage in orchid cultivation, being one of the leading orchid hybridisation centres in the world. I hope this engaging story will inspire an interest in horticulture and botany amongst our children."
—Kenneth Er, CEO of National Parks Board
"A remarkable story of Agnes Joaquim’s passion for horticulture, whose interest in breeding orchids led her to become the first woman to breed a hybrid orchid – Singapore’s national flower the Vanda Miss Joaquim. Her story inspires us all to pursue our dreams."
—Rosa Daniel, Deputy Secretary (Culture) Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
Size: 210mm x 260mm
Published: April 2018