Mahatma Gandhi by Ma Isabel Sanches Vegara & Albert Arrayas

The Litte People BIG DREAMS series narrates the stories of inspiring people from all walks of life including sports, arts, politics, just to name a few. Their stories are written just for kids in simple text and thoughtfully illustrated. 

The endpapers of this book are bursting with droves of pretty little flying doves, the messenger of peace. This dove is never far from Gandhi in the illustrations, which is a cute ploy by the artist to help recognise Gandhi the pictures. 

I’ve never really explained who Gandhi was to Mr 6 except to point out his numerous statues when we’ve been to India. The conversation would go like this: “There’s a statue of Mahatma Gandhi” “Who’s that?” The father of the nation” “Okay.” We would be travelling by car and the next fantastic thing to see would appear, losing the moment for any further discussion.  But then, I have always thought that history was best left to teachers or books.

So, when I found this book at the library I picked it up straight away. At home, in the quiet calmness that books provide, we read through the Mahatma’s life and for the first time Mr 6 gleamed an understanding and appreciation for the great peace-loving leader, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

The text is succinct and yet covers his whole life, highlighting just the important milestones so little readers will get a clear picture of Gandhi’s nature, the passion behind his actions and his dreams and achievements. 

In the first two pages, we see a young Gandhi, his good nature influenced by his mother. The story follows him as he studies law in London and then to South Africa where he goes to practice as a lawyer and has his first encounter of injustice. By the time Mohandas comes back to India his mind is set to serve his people. The illustrations by Albert Arrayas are perfect and clearly capture Gandhi’s essence. 

There are some complex words like protest and resistance movement which were great to initiate conversation. Mr. 6 was fascinated that Gandhi would sit quietly in the middle of the road until his demands were met and that Gandhi would refuse food too. 

The book ends on a note of hope with a beautiful illustration of the young Gandhi watching the dove flying in the sky. For parents, the author has added some real-life pictures of Gandhi with dates and descriptions, including his assassination in 1948. 
We enjoyed this book thoroughly and I welcome the fact it provided an age-appropriate learning experience for my child. On a funny note, I was left with an unanswered question from Mr 6 “So who is the father of Australia?” 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

I totally recommend this book or check out some of the other personalities in this series. I personally want to read Mother Teresa, Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo..ohh so many!!

Suggested age: Read aloud to 4+. Read by self 6+. Recommended for a confident reader.

Published by Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd, 2019

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