Texas Bluebonnet Award 2015-2016

Official TBA Master List Resources Compiled by the TBA Program Committee

Grandfather Gandhi

Grandfather Gandhi

Grandfather Gandhi
by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus

GrandfatherGandhi_Arun Gandhi     GrandfatherGhandi_Bethany Hegedus Photograph © Sam Bond Photography
Illustrated by Evan Turk


Scroll down to find Related Activities & Resources, Book Talk Teasers, Read Alikes, and Book Reviews.

Readers Theater Script 

Grandfather Gandhi Readers Theater Script
from http://www.grandfathergandhi.com (PDF)

Book Trailer

 Arun Gandhi Interview

Bethany Hegadus Interview

Evan Turk Interview



Arun Gandhi’s homepage:

Bethany Hegedus’ homepage:

Interview in Haiti with Arun Gandhi (2:49):

Kirkus Review interview with Bethany Hegedus:

Interview with Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus, and illustrator Evan Turk (3:25):

Biography of Mahatma Gandhi (6:41):

A curriculum guide to Grandfather Gandhi:

Kids Pledge of Nonviolence:

How to deal with anger:

50 Activities and Games Dealing with Anger:

Activities for Kids for Nonviolence:

Discuss (or write about) a time when someone upset you. How did you respond? If you could go back in time, would you change anything? If something like that happened again, how would you react?



Perform readers theater.

Read inside cover of book.

Play traditional Indian music.



Biographies about Gandhi:
Kimmell, Elizabeth Cody. A taste of freedom: Gandhi and the Great Salt March. An old man in India recalls how, when he was a young boy, he got his first taste of freedom as he and his brother joined the great Mahatma Gandhi on a march to the sea to make salt in defiance of British law. (NoveList)

Pastan, Amy. Gandhi. A biography of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian political and spiritual leader who led his country to freedom from British rule through his policy of nonviolent resistance. (NoveList)

Picture book biographies:
Adler, David S. A picture book of John and Abigail Adams. Explores the lives of John Adams, America’s first vice president and second president; and Abigail Adams, his most trusted adviser. (NoveList)

Asim, Jabari. Fifty cents and a dream: young Booker T. Washington. A biography of the former slave and inspiring educator describes the hardships he overcame in youth, the circumstances that challenged his efforts to learn how to read, and his triumphant pursuit of a college education. (NoveList)

King, Martin Luther Jr. & Nelson, Kadir. I Have a Dream. Presents the text of the famous speech given on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. by Martin Luther King, Jr., complemented by paintings illustrating the ideals the civil rights leader described. (NoveList)

King, Martin Luther III. My daddy, Martin Luther King, Jr. An account of the author’s brief years shared with his civil rights leader father offers insight into their special bond, their separation during Dr. King’s imprisonment, and the author’s five-year-old witness to the famous “I Have a Dream” speech. (NoveList)

Napoli, Donna Jo. Mama Miti. Tells a true story of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, who introduced the idea of planting trees for peace to Kenyan citizens. (NoveList)

Nelson, Kadir. Nelson Mandela. Presents a biography of the former South African president best known for his political activism and fight to end apartheid. (NoveList)

Other biographies about leaders and activists:
Demi. The Dalai Lama: a biography of the Tibetan spiritual and political leader. Pays tribute to the life of the fourteenth Dalai Lama by capturing the beauty of Tibetan culture and the charm, talent, and vision of the spiritual leader. (NoveList)

Hopkins, H. Joseph & McElmurry, Jill. The tree lady: the true story of how one tree-loving woman changed a city. Documents the true story of the nature pioneer and activist who, after becoming the first woman to earn a science degree from the University of California, took a teaching position in the desert region of San Diego and single-handedly launched a movement to transform the area with trees and gardens. (NoveList)

Kunhardt, Edith. Honest Abe. A simple biography of the president who led the United States through a bloody civil war. (NoveList)

Thomson, Sarah L. What Lincoln said. Integrates Abraham Lincoln’s famous words to tell the story of Lincoln’s life from a farm boy to a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, to the President of the United States, illuminating his passions, sense of humor, strength, and flexibility that made him such an outstanding leader. (NoveList)

Winter, Jeanette. The watcher: Jane Goodall’s life with the chimps. This book traces out the life and career of Jane Goodall as a watcher of English fauna to her adult work as scholar of animal behavior in Africa. (NoveList)

Yaccarino, Dan. The fantastic life of Jacques Cousteau. Examines the life and accomplishments of the French oceanographer, and describes his work studying and filming the undersea world. (NoveList)

Books about India:
King, Dedie. I see the sun in India. Follows a young girl named Mila through the course of a typical day in Jaipur, India. (NoveList)

Weber, Valerie. I come from India. Follow a young person from India as he makes a new home in the US. (NoveList)

Books about nonviolence:
Khan, Rukhsana. King for a day. Even though he is confined to a wheelchair, a Pakistani boy tries to capture the most kites during Basant, the annual spring kite festival, and become “king” for the day. Includes an afterword about the Basant festival. (NoveList)

Lewis, Barbara A. What do you stand for? For kids: a guide to building character. Describes positive character traits such as fairness, honesty, and respect and presents ways of developing them through various activities. (NoveList)

Seuss, Dr. The butter battle book. Pictures and verse depict an escalating arms race between Yooks and Zooks, who butter their bread differently. (NoveList)

Walker, Alice. Why war is never a good idea. Simple, rhythmic text explores the wanton destructiveness of War, which has grown old but not wise, as it demolishes nice people and beautiful things with no consideration for the consequences. (NoveList)



Grandfather Gandhi. Gandhi, Arun (author) and Bethany Hegedus (author).  Illustrated by Evan Turk. Mar. 2014. 48p. Atheneum, hardcover, $17.99 (9781442423657). Grades 1-4. 954.03. 

REVIEW.  First published December 15, 2013 (Booklist).

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.— Thom Barthelmess

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books:
Gandhi, Arun and Bethany Hegedus. Grandfather Gandhi. Illustrated by Evan Turk. July/August 2014
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-4424-2365-7
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-4424-5082-0

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.

Horn Book:
Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus; illus. by Evan Turk
Primary    Atheneum    48 pp.
3/14 978-1-4424-2365-7 $17.99
e-book ed. 978-1-4424-5082-0 $10.99

A visit to a grandfather’s home in another country can have its ups and downs even in an ordinary family. But Arun faces some special challenges because his grandfather is Mahatma Gandhi. It’s hard enough to go from his comfortable home in 1945 South Africa, where he enjoys watching John Wayne movies and playing cops and robbers with his friends, to the quiet village of Sevagram, India, where his grandfather lives simply, surrounded by 350 followers who seek to follow the Mahatma’s example. Arun, who gets fidgety during prayers and who angers easily while playing soccer with village children, feels he will never live up to the Gandhi name. After he confides this to his grandfather, Gandhi tells Arun that he, too, often feels anger but that he has learned to channel it for good, just as electricity can destroy or give light. Unusual for its child-centered and intimate portrait of Gandhi (we learn, for example, that he smelled like peanut oil), the graceful narrative is nearly outdone by the vivid mixed-media illustrations, rendered in watercolor, paper collage, cotton fabric, cotton, yarn, gouache, pencil, tea, and tinfoil. The cotton yarn, handspun on an Indian book charkha, gives the pictures such a three-dimensional look that one feels as though it could be plucked right off Gandhi’s spinning wheel. But it’s more than just an attractive effect—the yarn becomes a visual metaphor for anger channeled into light. KATHLEEN T. HORNING
(March/April 2014 Horn Book Magazine)

Reprinted from The Horn Book Magazine by permission of The Horn Book, Inc., www.hbook.com

School Library Journal:
Gandhi, Arun & Bethany Hegedus. Grandfather Gandhi. illus. by Evan Turk. 48p. S & S/Atheneum. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442423657; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442450820. LC 2011033058.

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


One thought on “Grandfather Gandhi

  1. Pingback: Welcome! | Texas Bluebonnet Award 2015-2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s