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Imagine a Garden is a collection of seven vignettes from around the world. These real-life stories, told in free-verse poems, reimagine our complex and sometimes troubled world through the lens of love, courage, and compassion— showing the phenomenal strength of the human spirit. These ordinary people do extraordinary things to make their community a better place. Rina Singh’s powerful and poetic language and Hoda Hadadi’s incredible cut-paper art create a book to share and showcase resilience.

Celebrating human endeavors like these might prompt more sweeping change.



I teared up several times while reading these seven gorgeous free-verse vignettes that relate true stories of people’s compassion and resilience during war, poverty, and hardship. In “A Garden of Grenades,” Palestinian mother Sabiha Abu Rahmah uses grenade canisters as flowerpots. In “Imagine,” Pedro Reyes creates musical instruments from 6,700 illegal weapons. Singh also writes about Indigenous activist Autumn Peltier, Brazilian gymnast and dancer Tuany Nascimento, and more. Colorful collage illustrations accompany each vignette. Back matter includes more details about the people behind the vignettes. This is ideal for older children, first grade and up.

–Margaret Kingsbury

Imagine a Garden

Written in free verse by Rina Singh

Beautifully illustrated by Hoda Hadadi

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