Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/15/2013 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. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2014 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 - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2014 In this picture-book memoir, Arun Gandhi recalls his family’s arrival at the ashram of the Mahatma, and the mixed emotions with which he approached his world-famous grandfather. The elder Gandhi seems to be either extraordinarily busy in public or closely guarded in solitude, and he’s certainly not easily accessible to the sensitive Arun. Moreover, Arun’s transition to life in the ashram, with its language challenges, chores, and unfamiliar games (soccer) leave him frustrated and angry-traits he believes are a discredit to the family name. The relationship between the two develops gently over time, with the elder Gandhi offering some reassurance that anger runs in the family and some sensible tips on making temper productive, and Arun growing into harmony with his grandfather and his way of life. The story is told simply and unsentimentally, and the embedded moral never feels heavy-handed. Turk’s mixed-media painting and collage illustrations are a stunning extension of Arun’s story, creatively incorporating the fibers and threads his grandfather has spun on his spinning wheel. Black thread coils around Arun as he sulks over his lessons or takes his frustration out on a pencil stub; white threads fly off Gandhi’s wheel and bind together the revolving cast of family and neighbors who bring the Mahatma’s message of peace to life. Deep, inky shadows are equally well deployed, as isolated Arun is first a tiny figure overwhelmed by his grandfather’s shadow but later casts his own shadow beside his grandfather’s as they walk side by side. Recent picture books such as McGinty’s Gandhi: March to the Sea (BCCB 6/13) focus on the Mahatma’s accomplishments; this opens a window onto his compassion and wisdom. EB - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.