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Grandfather Gandhi Hardcover – March 11, 2014
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From School Library Journal
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
Twelve-year-old Arun Gandhi travels with his family from their home in South Africa to India to be with their grandfather, the Mahatma, in his service village of Sevagram, where they stay for two years. Arun loves his grandfather but resents all of the others who monopolize his time, and he worries about living up to his supreme example. He is a child, and like a child, he erupts in anger, seethes in frustration, and longs for connection. And his grandfather is there to tell him that anger is human and we must work to use it so it cannot use us. Collaborating with first-time picture-book author Hegedus, Arun Gandhi recalls his own childhood experiences, relating the stories in an immediate first-person voice. Working in mixed media, with pieces of fabric clothing and hand-cut, hand-painted figures, Turk mixes carefully detailed renderings with abstracted expressions of emotional struggle, achieving a powerful balance. A personal portrait of a legendary figure. Grades 1-4. --Thom Barthelmess