Grandfather Gandhi: with audio recordingby Arun Gandhi
How could he—a Gandhi—be so easy to anger?
One thick, hot day, Arun Gandhi travels with his family to Grandfather Gandhi’s village/i>
Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson tells the story of how his grandfather taught him to turn darkness into light in this uniquely personal and vibrantly illustrated tale that carries a message of peace.
How could he—a Gandhi—be so easy to anger?
One thick, hot day, Arun Gandhi travels with his family to Grandfather Gandhi’s village.
Silence fills the air—but peace feels far away for young Arun. When an older boy pushes him on the soccer field, his anger fills him in a way that surely a true Gandhi could never imagine. Can Arun ever live up to the Mahatma? Will he ever make his grandfather proud?
In this remarkable personal story, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, weaves a stunning portrait of the extraordinary man who taught him to live his life as light. Evan Turk brings the text to breathtaking life with his unique three-dimensional collage paintings.
Gr 1–3—Mahatma Gandhi, as seen through the eyes of one his grandsons, is depicted in this picture-book biography as a loving grandfather and a revered figure. Twelve-year-old Arun and his family have come to live in his bapu's "service village," which is a great honor, but is also hard for young Arun, who must share his grandfather with so many others demanding his time and attention. The boy frets over the difficulty of living up to the expectations that carrying the name Gandhi entails, and when a disagreement during a soccer game sparks his anger, Arun seeks out his wise and loving grandfather for comfort and advice. This is less a biography of a famous leader and more of an ode to a great man by an adoring grandson. While background details are left intentionally vague, i.e., the family's reasons for moving to India, memories of Gandhi himself are sharp and specific, lending an air of intimacy. The accompanying artwork is stunning, the use of mixed media collage is effective and beautiful, with varying perspectives and intriguing materials on display on every page. With so many biographies about Gandhi published recently, this one stands out for its unique point of view and gorgeous art, and makes a fine supplement to any collection.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
More than 10 years in the writing, this true story by Gandhi’s grandson and Hegedus (Truth with a Capital T) gives a personal window inside the peacemaker’s teachings. As a 12-year-old, Arun and his family come to live at an ashram where Gandhi resides with followers. Vibrant, mixed-media collages from debut talent Turk depict the boy’s first frustrating weeks there. A tangle of black yarn swirls around Arun, the threads creating a proverbial black cloud, as he struggles to learn a new language, share his grandfather with others, and even feel like a Gandhi: “peace and stillness did not come easily to me.” When Arun’s temper flares, he runs tearfully to Gandhi, who compares anger to electricity: destructive as lightning or a force channeled to power lamps. “Then anger can illuminate. It can turn the darkness into light.” Turk’s illustrations are stylized, strikingly patterned, and rendered in contrasting purples and golds, blues and creams, blacks and whites, highlighting the tension between anger and peace. Dynamic visuals and storytelling create a rousing family story that speaks to a broad audience. Ages 4–8. Authors’ agent: Regina Brooks, Serendipity Literary Agency. (Mar.)
This first-person account presents Mohandas Gandhi through the eyes of his then–12-year-old grandson. Arriving at Sevagram, the ashram Gandhi lived in as an old man, young Arun and his family greet their famous relative and start participating in the simple lifestyle of morning prayers, chores and pumpkin mush. It is challenging for the boy, who misses electricity and movies and dreads language lessons. The crux of the story hinges on the moment Arun is tripped and injured during a soccer game. He picks up a rock and feels the weight of familial expectations. Running to his grandfather, he learns the surprising fact that Gandhi gets angry too. Grandfather lovingly explains that anger is like electricity: it "can strike, like lightning, and split a living tree in two…. Or it can be channeled, transformed….Then anger can illuminate. It can turn the darkness into light." Turk's complex collages, rich in symbolic meaning and bold, expressive imagery, contribute greatly to the emotional worldbuilding. Watercolor, gouache and cut paper set the scenes, while fabric clothes the primary players. Gandhi's spinning wheel is a repeated motif; tangled yarn surrounding Arun signals frustration. Never burdened by its message, this exceptional title works on multiple levels; it is both a striking introduction to a singular icon and a compelling story about the universal experience of a child seeking approval from a revered adult. (authors' note) (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)
Meet the Author
Arun Gandhi, born in 1934, is the fifth grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi. A journalist for more than thirty years for the India Times, Arun now writes a blog for The Washington Post. His first book for children was Grandfather Gandhi. Currently, Arun serves as president of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute and travels the world speaking to governmental leaders, as well as to university and high school students about the practices of peace and nonviolence. He lives in Rochester, New York. Visit him at ArunGandhi.org.
Bethany Hegedus is the author of Between Us Baxters and Truth with a Capital T, as well as the coauthor of Grandfather Gandhi. She owns The Writing Barn, a writing workshop and retreat center in Austin, Texas. She teaches widely and speaks across the country. Visit her online at BethanyHegedus.com.
Evan Turk is an author, illustrator, and animator working in New York City. He is the illustrator of the award-winning book Grandfather Gandhi and the author/illustrator of The Storyteller. Evan is originally from Colorado and loves being in nature, traveling, and learning about other cultures through drawing. He is a graduate of Parsons and continues his studies as a member of Dalvero Academy. Visit him at EvanTurk.com.
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