A gentle introduction to Gandhi’s remarkable work. .

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A TASTE OF FREEDOM

GANDHI AND THE GREAT SALT MARCH

An old man recalls the extraordinary time when, as a young boy, he joined an older brother in following Mahatma Gandhi on his long march to gather salt from the sea.

Kimmel’s simple storytelling is pitched for quite young listeners. The boy’s awareness of powerful secrets and whispered conversations among his father and uncles fuels his interest in Gandhi’s arrival in his village. Gandhi plans to free India from British rule “without hitting or hurting the British soldiers,” and the boy wants to know how that could be done. Zaccheus-like, he climbs a tree to get a glimpse of the man leading more than 100 followers as people bow and throw flowers at Gandhi’s feet: “The Great Soul has come to Aslali.” The sense of something big is conveyed well, though the urgent need for change is only outlined. “Now my mother must buy her salt from the British,” explains the boy: The people “…are angry at the Raj; they are tired of the unfair laws.” Though so much more than salt was at stake, even the afterword, detailing the history of Gandhi’s nonviolent opposition to British rule, only hints at the full story. Ferri’s watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are full of warmth and immediacy—the young protagonist is on every spread.

A gentle introduction to Gandhi’s remarkable work. . (map, resource list) (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8027-9467-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared.

IMAGINE

Former Poet Laureate Herrera encourages his young readers to imagine all they might be in his new picture book.

Herrera’s free verse tells his own story, starting as a young boy who loves the plants and animals he finds outdoors in the California fields and is then thrust into the barren, concrete city. In the city he begins to learn to read and write, learning English and discovering a love for words and the way ink flows “like tiny rivers” across the page as he applies pen to paper. Words soon become sentences, poems, lyrics, and a means of escape. This love of the word ultimately leads him to make writing his vocation and to become the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the United States, an honor Herrera received in 2015. Through this story of hardship to success, expressed in a series of conditional statements that all begin “If I,” Herrera implores his readers to “imagine what you could do.” Castillo’s ink and foam monoprint illustrations are a tender accompaniment to Herrera’s verse, the black lines of her illustrations flowing across the page in rhythm with the author’s poetry. Together this makes for a charming read-aloud for groups or a child snuggled in a lap.

A lyrical coming-of-age story in picture-book form that begs to be shared. (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9052-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE

            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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