PPBF: Grandfather Gandhi

Today's PPBF is the perfect ending to World Kindness Week.

Title: Grandfather Gandhi
Authors: Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus
Illustrator: Evan Turk
Publisher: Antheneum Books for Young Readers
Date: March 11, 2014
Suitable for: all ages
Themes: peace, anger management, justice
Brief synopsis: Gandhi's grandson tells about a confusing time when anger sparked and threatened to take him on a detour from the Gandhi way. He must learn how to walk in of footprints of his Grandfather's path of peace while keeping his feelings of anger and frustration from ruining the route.

Opening page:

Resources: Visit the book's website {here}.
See it on a list by Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal {here}.
Read a review at the Horn Book {here}.
Find the Gandhi Spinning Wheel Activity {here}.
Watch the book's trailer:

Why I like this book: I couldn't believe it when I saw this book on my librarian's stack of new books this week. Gandhi has a grandson? The Gandhi? I knew before I even cracked it opened that I had unearthed a treasure that I would love. And, sure enough, I loved it, so much that I asked to take it with me to my office so I could read it again. And again. When his grandson explodes and runs to his Grandfather for help, the elder Gandhi validates his feelings and then asks the twelve-year-old: Do you want to be lightning ...  or a light?

Such a powerful inquiry, something we can ask ourselves
with every move we make, to keep our actions and reactions 
in check. Then, today, I see this chart on a door at my school visit
to Ross Elementary:

What a great guiding question.
And it parallels today's pick because it's basically what
our book's author struggled with as a child in the
 lineage of someone supreme like Mahatma Gandhi.
How does a child live up to a name,
walk around in the skin they're in,
especially when the emotions that choose him
aren't necessarily comfortable or easy?

And what if our every word, feeling or action
were tattooed on our skin so others could see?
Ask students this question.
Find out what their family values are
and what it means to be a member of their family,
like being a Gandhi.
Is it easy or difficult? Why?

In the book, Gandhi suggests that the young boy
spin yarn as an anger management technique.
Sometimes I have students with uncomfortable feelings
wrap yarn with me, from the skein to a ball, and it works like magic. What strategies "to use anger" work for you and your learners? What does Gandhi mean that "anger can illuminate,
... turn darkness into light?"

For an explanation about what happens to the brain
when we we get mad, click {here}.

Wanna seal the deal with a song?
Try these lyrics using the tune from The Addams Family:

Check out this book; I predict you'll instantly fall in love, too.
Then check out our other picks at Susanna's blog today.


  1. Beautiful book. The message and illustrations.

    1. It is special, indeed. Thank you, Julie, for stopping by!

  2. I loved reading this book. It is stunning with such a great message for the grandson. What I really ennjoyed were your fantastic activities for kids! You are so brilliant with ways to use a book in your classroom!

    1. I just knew you'd connect with this one, Pat. Thank you for tweeting it out and for your kind affirmations.

  3. I've read about this one, but haven't been able to read it. I need to check with my library again. I love that song at the end. ... I'm sharing that one with my kiddo.

    1. Thanks, Stacy. I wrote that when I was working with a first-grade boy a few years back who needed some anger management strategies!

  4. This is a new one I've been hearing a lot about but haven't read myself yet. It does sound lovely. I like the yarn-winding suggestion. I used to do it for my mom--maybe she had an ulterior motive I didn't know about!

    1. That's funny, Wendy. I'm sure it was just cause she needed the yarn in ball. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. That sounds like a great read! I like your song to help with anger. We've talked about belly breathing when we get angry. One perceptive little guy told me I should take a belly breathe! I guess I wasn't hiding from feelings as much as I thought!

    1. They notice EVERYTHING, don't they Patty? Appreciate your kind reflections.

  6. Mr Arun Ghandi was at the Texas Book Festival a few weeks ago. The Mom Person really wanted to hear his talk, but couldn't work it out. :( I've got this one on my want list. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. That's where my librarian got the book, Rhythm! I know you'll enJOY this awesome read.

  7. wow! This was very interesting and I enjoyed your review. I just love your activities.

  8. Reminds me a bit of the Way of the Peaceful Warrior... Do you remember that one too?
    I'm excited to check this book out as well.
    So lovely to stop by and visit at The Corner again...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  9. I look forward to reading this book! Thank you for the review. I love the question: What if every word you said was tattooed on your body?


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!