Review: Gandhi by Alice B. McGinty

gandhi

Gandhi: A March to the Sea by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

This nonfiction picture book focuses on Gandhi’s 24-day March to the Sea in 1930.  Joined by over 70 others, this was a nonviolent protest of British rule of India and the taxes they had levied on salt.  Told in verse, this picture book explores how the march united the different faiths and castes of India into a common cause.  The book and journey ends with Gandhi scooping salt from the sea, inspiring many others to do the same.  Many were imprisoned for their actions, but they proved too numerous for the prison system and had to be released.  This is a profound and impressive look at a nonviolent action that was noticed around the world and still serves as inspiration today.

McGinty’s verse is free and flowing.  She nicely integrates imagery that is moving and speaks volumes about the situation.  Just one line from when Gandhi reaches the sea: “white salt dusting dark sand.”  McGinty also weaves in the way that Gandhi inspired others to spin their own thread rather than relying on British cloth, how he prayed together with all faiths, truly how he created a single community out of so many different ones.

The illustrations by Gonzalez are exquisite.  His paintings capture the stones on the path, the crowds that gathered, and finally Gandhi by the sea, alone and strong.  All of the images show a man of strength of conviction and a spirit that was unfailing.  They are stunningly evocative of the man and his mission.

This is a top-notch picture book that truly conveys the difference one man can make in the world being nonviolent.  Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from library copy.

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