Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid: How Vanda Miss Joaquim Became Singapore's National Flower
Shortlisted for the 2019 Singapore Book Awards: Best Children's Picture Book
Suggested for ages 3 and above
In the mid-1800s in Singapore, a girl named Agnes Joaquim had a great passion for plants. She studied hard and learnt how to grow even cool-weather European vegetables in hot and humid Singapore. Over the years, she became so clever at growing all kinds of plants, that she won many, many prizes. One day, after several attempts and failures, she succeeded in creating a new orchid. The flower was shown to a scientist and orchid expert named Henry Ridley, who officially named the orchid the Vanda Miss Joaquim. This is the story of how one woman’s imagination, skill and relentless spirit created a new flower that became world famous...and Singapore's National Flower in 1981.
Size: 210mm x 260mm
Published: April 2018 by Epigram books
'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
'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
'Thank you for your lovely children’s book. My daughter will love the story that has meaning as it really happened.'
— Mother Trudi
'...my boys love your book. After the initial reading at the Botanic Gardens it sat on the shelf for a while before they started getting curious. Now it’s the first one they want to read many nights in a row'
— Mother Anna
About the Authors
Linda Locke is a great-grandniece of Agnes Joaquim. Her determination to secure the legacy of Agnes and her creation — the Vanda Miss Joaquim – for future generations of Singaporeans led her to write Agnes and Her Amazing Orchid, her first children’s book. Linda 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 consultancy, Godmother Pte Ltd, and has held several key positions at Club21, a luxury fashion distributor. She now serves as a board director at Culina Pte Ltd.
James Wolf has had a passionate interest in Singapore’s history. He has known his co-author for many years and was delighted to collaborate with her on this important book about one of the Singapore’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 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.