If you’re looking for a picture book that sheds light on a notable person from the 19th– 20th century, consider tracking down, Gandhi, by Demi (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2001). Not only would I recommend reading this book, I would also urge you to find other nonfiction and fiction books by this talented children’s author and illustrator. Demi’s words and illustrations should not be missed.
With over 100 titles to her credit, there is bound to be a topic of interest. Notable nonfiction books include- The Dalai Lama, Joan of Arc, Buddha, Muhammad, and many others.
Demi, an American, was born into a family with multiple degrees of artistic talent. As a child, her creative abilities were nurtured. Later, formal art training exposed her to artistic styles from around the world. As a result, her illustrations are exquisite. Fine touches, such as gold leaf, add a unique dimension.
Upon opening the Ghandi book, the reader is immediately exposed to Demi’s eye for detail. Each illustrated page guides the reader through her narrative which touches on the defining moments of Gandhi’s life. Young children will relate to Gandhi’s early years when he was plagued by irrational fears and shyness. Readers will also learn about various episodes in his life that spurred him to become one of the most recognized names of the 20th century.
Demi is an example of a writer/illustrator who is able to write/illustrate effectively on a long list of multicultural topics. Should any of her work be considered less authentic since she may not have possessed an insider’s point of view?
- Creating an historical timeline
- Key aspects of Indian history
- Relationship between the British and India
- Analyzing Quotes
- Caste system
- How leaders affect history
- Non violent civil disobedience
- New York Times Best Illustrated Book
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award
If you have used this book in your classroom or at home, consider sharing your experience.