Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus; illustrated by Evan Turk. 2016. Watercolor, paper collage, cotton fabric, cotton, gouache, white china marker, colored drawing pencils, embroidery thread
Brief summary: Arun Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, tells about ashram life including one of the eleven vows that he found the most difficult to understand: wastefulness. He throws away a small pencil and is told by his Bapuji to go into the night and find it. Arun continues to journey with his grandfather trying very hard to understand how waste can be a violent action. He is told to make a tree with violence as the trunk and two branches of physical violence and passive violence. He added to it noticing the passive violence branch was getting to be very large. Arun was beginning to understand he was responsible for his thoughts and actions.
Comments: This is the companion to Grandfather Gandhi. There is a note from the author telling how Arun lived with his grandfather from ages 12-14.
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The Storyteller by Evan Turk; illustrated by Evan Turk. 2016. Water-soluble crayons, inks, indigo, colored drawing pencils, sugared green tea, a heat gun, and fire.
Brief summary: There is a drought in Morocco and a little boy looking for water comes across a storyteller(a blaykia) in the town’s square who tells him a tale of how the Sahara Desert was kept from destroying the city. The blaykia continues the story each day filling the boy’s spiritual and physical thirsts three times.
Comments: This is the first time I have seen illustrations that included the use of sugared green tea, a heat gun, and fire. The illustrations are superbly done and enhanced the folktale’s magic. I learned how a blaykia uses the oral tradition of storytelling with the audience sitting in a balka(circle, ring) around the blaykia as he/she recites the story from memory usually stopping just at the climax or interesting part to lure the audience to come again another day to hear the continuation. This is a must for any folklore library or home collection especially with its rich and stunning illustrations which can be better understood with this link of the making of the illustrations by Evan Turk himself. There is a book trailer as well. I see this book as a definite Caldecott contender.