Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday-Grandfather Gandhi

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website. 

Grandfather Gandhi
by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegadus
Illustrated by Evan Turk
Published 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
48 Pages
Book borrowed from my nerdy friend Susan Dee

Goodreads Summary
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.

My Thoughts
At first glance I thought this might be a biography about Mahatma Gandhi told by his grandchild, but it was much different. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, tells his own story of a visit to his grandfather's village when he was a young boy. This is an important book to share with children. Many children (and adults) struggle with managing anger and frustration. It would be validating for them to see that even the grandson of peacemaker Mahatma Gandhi struggles with anger also. The story is beautifully told and the unique illustrations give a feeling of the time period and location. I would recommend using this book in grades 2-5.
Image from

I feel that this is a great mentor text to share as we build our classroom community. It will also give students a reference to revisit as needed throughout the year. 

In order to fully appreciate the story, I feel that students may need a bit of background about Gandhi. 
There are also many books written about Mahatma Gandhi's life. Here is a list from Google

Resources and Activities
Share this amazing book trailer.

Have your class take the pledge to "Live you life as light".
Share a companion text about managing anger. The Helpful Counselor has a list here
Play some anger management games. Kim's Counseling Corner has 50 games and activities. 

This book also makes a great mentor text for teaching:
character traits


  1. More than one person has seen the need for background material to use with this book, Gigi. It's a lovely story, I agree, and thanks for the extra you provided!

  2. This was one of my favorites of the year so far. Thanks for sharing the additional teacher resources/ideas.

  3. Loved this one! Thanks for the extra resources!

  4. I love this books and am so glad you gave the extra links to resources. I look forward to sharing this one.

  5. Gigi
    This book is one of the most beautifully illustrated this year. I enjoyed reading your insights about the book's use in the classroom.

  6. looks like a neat book, I'll have to add that to my never ending to read pile

    Gidget @ Letters Numbers and Books oh my!

  7. I thought this might be a good book to pass along to our social worker. I'm thinking he could potentially use it in a lesson? I always like the idea of getting books into the hands of the "other" professionals at our school - admin, specials teachers...

  8. This really looks like a gorgeous picturebook. I featured Gandhi's Taste of Freedom - looks like it could be paired wonderfully with this title.