At the 2015 Texas Bluebonnet Award Luncheon this past April, Carmen Oliver, the booking agent for the Grandfather Gandhi creators, sat with Arun Gandhi, Evan Turk, and several librarians from around Texas. One particular conversation grabbed her attention. She overheard Gail Shipley, the librarian at Thelma Richardson Elementary, speaking about the unit on civil rights she’d organized with her students to honor MLK day.
Instead of focusing on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she discussed how Dr. King looked up to Mohandas K. Gandhi. She talked about Gandhi’s life and compared the two “changemakers” for peace. All the students took the “Live Your Life as Light” pledge. They discussed every word in the pledge. Words like respect, communicate, listen, and forgive. After they finished their discussions, the students went home with bookmarks she’d made that said, “Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.”
Additionally, on June 15, 2015 at Gail’s Region 10 Education Service Center meeting, she will talk with librarians about Grandfather Gandhi and the activities she created to accompany the book.
A huge thank you to librarian Gail Shipley for sharing this story with all of us that day over lunch, for giving us her blessing to share it here and for sowing seeds for peace.Read More
Grandfather Gandhi is honored to have been chosen for the master list of the Texas Bluebonnet Award! Creators Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus and Evan Turk were welcomed at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference for “speed dating” with 150 school and public librarians. Over an evening of table hopping, the three told the story of how this award-winning book came to be.
How did the date go? We would like to see them all all over again!Read More
Illustrator Evan Turk is honored once again for his divine work on the picture book Grandfather Gandhi. The Marion Vannett Ridgway Award, which honors first-time illustrators, gave Turk an Honor Award, saying:
“Turk’s bold collage technique ably meets the challenge of a text that emphasizes internal emotions and conversations: he employs shadow and silhouette, sinuous lines, and warm colors to achieve a raw visual power across a varied progression of illustrations. His ingenious incorporation of cotton,thread and fabric into his artwork lends dimension to the book’s pages and brings alive its message of turning negative energy into good.” —The Marion Vannett Ridgway Award
On March 27, 2015 Bethany Hegedus visited the Kramer & Lamar campuses at the NYOS (Not Your Ordinary School) to inspire students to choose to live as light and make positive change in the world. Her presentation on Grandfather Gandhi left a glow on the school with staff and students taking the “Live your Life as Light” pledge and promising to make a difference. Here are a few snapshots and testimonials to enlighten your day.
“While reading Grandfather Gandhi with Benjamin yesterday he was able to tell me the black string represented anger. When we finished he said that he wanted to live like Gandhi and really seemed to think about anger and how to be peaceful. I was happy to see that a 5 year old was able to think in such a way.” – Melissa Hefner, teacher and parent.
“Bethany Hegedus is an amazing speaker. She kept all the students engaged and participating, Pre-K through 5th grade. She talked about the writing process and how the first step was to, “Read, Read, Read!” and the last step was to, “Revise, Revise, Revise!” She taught the students about living as light and the choices we have when we are angry. She taught the students that writing is a process and it takes time, but never to give up. I love that she told the students to start by telling their story aloud to themselves over and over again before writing it down. Her book, Grandfather Gandhi, speaks not just to students but to teachers and all adults everywhere. It is an amazing story to be shared. I know my students and I will choose to live as light and will change the world, one choice at a time!”–Lisa Boone, librarian NYOS Charter School, Austin.
Bethany would like to thank everyone at NYOS Charter School for their wonderful hospitality and a special thank you to librarian extraordinaire Lisa Boone and her mother-in-law for making the visit possible. Bethany is excited to see the talented young writers pouring out their hearts in their first and finished drafts. Thank you to Ms. Boone for sending along their writing samples.