Tag Archives: Light

#365PictureBooks Day 25 Grandfather Gandhi

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. Publisher: Simon & Schuster

This is a true story told from the point of view of Gandhi’s 12 year old grandson Arun. Arun goes to the village of  ‘Sevagram’ to live with his grandfather, and is initially frustrated that his close family standing does not seem to bring him special favours or time with his grandfather. Arun is used to living in South Africa where Indians are still treated as second-class citizens and he is subsequently full of anger. His struggle to fit in with peaceful village life, learn the language and share his grandfather with Gandhi’s followers adds to his anger and resentment. He questions how he can be a Gandhi when he is not peaceful. When he asks for advice, Gandhi assures Arun that anger is normal and that even he Gandhi, (who is known for his peaceful co-existence and non-violent protest) sometimes feels anger too.

“Have I not told you how anger is like electricity?”

I shook my head.

“It is. Anger can strike like lightning and split a living tree in two, ” he said.

I saw myself on the soccer field, rock in hand ready to strike, I saw the movie cowboys and their guns.

“Or it can be channeled, transformed. A switch can be flipped, and it can shed light like a lamp.”

“Then anger can illuminate. It can turn the darkness into light,” Grandfather said.

The mixed media collage illustrations by Evan Turk are stunning and use the white cotton thread symbolic of the spinning that Gandhi and the village are known for. When Arun is angry swirling dark lines drawn or painted angrily, are mixed with black thread around his head and all over the page. The emotions erupt off the page.

It is wonderful!



Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014
The New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
The 2014 Non Fiction Picture Book Nerdy Award Winner
Chicago Public Library’s Best Informational Books for Younger Readers of 2014
Huffington Post’s “Best Picture Books of 2014″ Honorable Mention

Bibliographic details:

Grandfather Gandhi / Written by  Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Evan Turk

Published by Athenaeum Books for Young Readers, 2014.

48 pages


Available to purchase from all good bookshops and to borrow from Auckland Libraries.