Gr 3-6A handsome, easy-to-read overview. Dhanjal discusses the founding of Sikhism in 15th-century India; the lives of the group's inspired leaders, beginning with founder Guru Nanak and the 10 Gurus who succeeded him; and the Sikh Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib. The religion's major tenets are summarized and the central role of the Golden Temple in Amritsar is addressed. Life-cycle events, distinguishing dress, festivals, foods, artistic heritage, and characteristic symbols are mentioned. Good-quality full-color photographs and illustrations appear throughout. However, the book's title and chapter headings are awkward and condescending. Questions such as "Do Sikhs enjoy music and dance?" and "Do Sikhs like stories?" are puerile. The author downplays political and religious tensions between Sikh militants and the Indian government. The assault on the Golden Temple in 1984 is touched upon only in the time line. The complicity of Sikh militants in the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is ignored. A number of better titles cover the same ground.Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
An entry in the What Do We Know About series that intends to enlighten but here only confuses. Dhanjal sets out to answer questions readers may have about this religion and its followers in double-page spreads. The answer to the first question, "Who are the Sikhs?," appears without context or background: "Sikhs believe in one God. They also believe in the ten Gurus (founding teachers) and the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book prepared by one of the Gurus). Some Sikhs believe that they should also belong to the Khalsa, the special community set up by the tenth Guru. . . ." Other perplexing questions: "What happened after the last Guru died? Are the Sikhs great travelers? Do Sikhs enjoy music and dance? Do Sikhs like stories?" The presentation is circular and unfocused, making the information inaccessible and leaving much of the theology and vibrancy of Sikhism unnecessarily mysterious. Full-color illustrations and photographs show Sikhs dressed in their customary, brightly colored turbans and veils; also included is a recipe for making a special food to be handed out in the prayer hall. For patient, scrupulous readers, some sense of Sikhism will emerge, but this is by no means a standard text on the religion.