A gentle introduction to Gandhi’s remarkable work. .

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 resplendent masterpiece.

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DREAMERS

Based on her experience of leaving Mexico for the United States, Morales’ latest offers an immigrant’s tale steeped in hope, dreams, and love.

This story begins with a union between mother and son, with arms outstretched in the midst of a new beginning. Soon after, mother and son step on a bridge, expansive “like the universe,” to cross to the other side, to become immigrants. An ethereal city appears, enfolded in fog. The brown-skinned woman and her child walk through this strange new land, unwilling to speak, unaccustomed to “words unlike those of our ancestors.” But soon their journey takes them to the most marvelous of places: the library. In a series of stunning double-page spreads, Morales fully captures the sheer bliss of discovery as their imaginations take flight. The vibrant, surreal mixed-media artwork, including Mexican fabric, metal sheets, “the comal where I grill my quesadillas,” childhood drawings, and leaves and plants, represents a spectacular culmination of the author’s work thus far. Presented in both English and Spanish editions (the latter in Teresa Mlawer’s translation), equal in evocative language, the text moves with purpose. No word is unnecessary, each a deliberate steppingstone onto the next. Details in the art provide cultural markers specific to the U.S., but the story ultimately belongs to one immigrant mother and her son. Thanks to books and stories (some of her favorites are appended), the pair find their voices as “soñadores of the world.”

A resplendent masterpiece. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4055-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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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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