Book’s Journey

Creators Talk About the Book’s Journey

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Book's Journey, Managing Anger | Comments Off on Creators Talk About the Book’s Journey

Authors Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus and illustrator Evan Turk talk with Simon & Schuster about the creation and application of Grandfather Gandhi.

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Authors & Illustrator Meet!

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Book's Journey, Outreach | Comments Off on Authors & Illustrator Meet!

For the first time, all three creators stood together before their acclaimed book, Grandfather Gandhi (and the smiles of mutual admiration were wide)! Simon & Schuster hosted authors Bethany Hegedus and Arun Gandhi and illustrator Evan Turk for an afternoon of interviews in their Studio 4.  These interviews are just a warm-up for several days of New York City media appearances, school visits, a Books of Wonder panel, and an appearance at Unity NYC where the book’s journey began 13 years ago… Read about the Book’s Journey. Find out more about their NYC Appearances. Author Bethany Hegedus & Arun Gandhi Simon & Schuster Staff at Book Signing Agent Regina Brooks & Author Arun Gandhi...

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Grandfather Gandhi Book Trailer

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Book's Journey, Illustrations, Mahatma Gandhi, Outreach | Comments Off on Grandfather Gandhi Book Trailer

In honor of today’s release of Grandfather Gandhi, may we present the book trailer. Illustration & Animation by Evan Turk Music: “Ambwa” used by permission of artist Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami Voices: Arun Gandhi & Bethany Hegedus Sound: Evan Turk, Carrington MacDuffie & The Block House, Justin Yelle & Kaotic Studios, and William Dufris & Mind’s Eye Productions. Project Management: Curious...

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On Visting Aga Kahn Palace

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Book's Journey, By Bethany Hegedus, Mahatma Gandhi | Comments Off on On Visting Aga Kahn Palace

By Bethany Hegedus Our family trip to India took us to Pune; where my husband’s family now lived, Agra; home of the Taj Mahal, and Lucknow; where the family wedding would take place and where my husband was raised. I desperately wanted to go to Wardha, to the Sevagram ashram where Arun lived with his grandfather is, but our schedule wouldn’t allow for it. But in Pune, there was the Aga Kahn Palace, and on a bright sunny day, we headed there. Arun’s grandmother Katurba had died at the Aga Kahn Palace, both she and her husband and many of his aides were interned—imprisoned there from 1942-1944. As the ports were closed to Arun’s family in South Africa, during WWII, Arun was not able to see his grandmother again before she passed. I went to the Aga Kahn Palace with that knowledge heavy in my heart. We walked—my husband, his childhood friend Gopal, and our nephew Anand— through the rooms that now held statues and paintings of Mohandas K. Gandhi and paperwork from the Quit India Movement. We stood outside the glass partition that separated visitors from the room where the Mahatma and his wife were kept interned and outside that room, there under glass were Gandhiji’s sandals, his spectacles and a few other belongings. I took pictures and touched the glass, wishing I could touch the sandals, that walked alongside Arun, that almost out walked him, with his grandfather’s hurried strides, as is depicted so brilliantly by Evan Turk in the Grandfather Gandhi illustrations. At the back of the palace in the gardens, Gandhi’s ashes are on display. I stood there thinking about how Arun had just travelled back to South Africa from Sevagram, a few weeks before Gandhi was shot and killed. Like with his grandmother, Arun was not able to return for the funeral pyre. It was a very personal pilgrimage to me. Every moment I was in India, participating in a traditional Hindu wedding, meeting my husband’s family, seeing where my husband lived as a boy—all of it was personal but going to the Aga Kahn Palace was the closest connection I had to the work I had done with Arun on Grandfather Gandhi. I stayed in the gardens for a bit, and as we left, a bus with some school children pulled in. Then another bus. And another. I had my camera and I began taking pictures of the hundreds of kids who were there for a school trip. I became less and less shy as more and more buses pulled in. I began to talk to the kids, “What are you here to see?” “Gandhi’s ashes,” they answered. Eventually the kids began to pose for me, giving me high fives, and peace signs as they passed. My husband, nephew and family friend waited for me. In fact, Anand had to move the car we were driving so the buses wouldn’t pack us in, but none of them rushed me as I stood there in that sea of kids, in various different school uniforms, and smiled. Their past and my past, in that moment, were...

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Spinning Wheel

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Book's Journey, By Evan Turk, Illustrations | Comments Off on Spinning Wheel

Post by Evan Turk “Do you spin carefully at least 160 rounds daily? Is the yarn even? Do you yourself fix the spinning wheel? Do you keep a daily account? If you keep this one promise, you will learn a lot.” —From Bapu (Gandhi) to Arun, Grandfather Gandhi  A lump of tangled cotton fibers might not look like much, but it has the potential to be spun and transformed into a thread, which can be connected and woven with other threads to create something beautiful and useful. From the first pages of the book, you see cotton in its raw form, as a fine yarn, and woven into useful fabric in the clothes of the family. This transformation mirrors Arun’s own transformation, from an unruly, wild ball of anger, towards the spun, intentional, directed thread towards positive change at the end. Early on in the illustrations, I had a very romantic notion that I was going to spin all of the yarn by hand, it was going to teach me self-discipline like it did for Arun in the story. I wanted it to be this very meditative process that would happen as I was doing the book. So I bought a charkha (Indian spinning wheel) and a box of cotton shipped from India and I planned to sit down every day I worked on the book and try and spin some thread for an hour or so. I did that for a couple of months, trying a few days a week to spin anything at all. But it was very difficult, a lot harder than I was expecting, and after two months I had made maybe two inches of lumpy thread. As the deadline drew near, I began to think about other options. While looking online for somewhere that I could buy charkha-spun yarn, I found Eileen Hallman’s website. She had how-to videos, which I probably should have had months ago, but I called her and asked if I could buy some yarn spun on a charkha. She didn’t sell charkha-spun yarn, but graciously offered to spin it for me. It turns out she was able to do in five minutes what I had been trying weeks to do, so I was thrilled. She spun all of the white yarn that I used in the illustrations. So although my own experience with spinning was more of an exercise in frustration and the generosity of others, in the story it is an illustration of a beautiful transformation and creation of something out of...

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Light & Shadow in Grandfather Gandhi

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Book's Journey, By Evan Turk, Illustrations | Comments Off on Light & Shadow in Grandfather Gandhi

Post by Evan Turk “Have I not told you how anger is like electricity? Anger can strike, like lightning, and split a living tree in two. Or it can be channeled, transformed. A switch can be flipped an it can shed light like a lamp.” —Grandfather Gandhi Where there is a shadow, there is always a light. Our shadow is often the worst things we believe about ourselves: the things that make us feel unworthy. For Arun, in Grandfather Gandhi, this was his anger. “How could he, a Gandhi, be so quick to anger?” “Grandfather didn’t have to say it. I’d never live up to being a Gandhi. I’d never be at peace.” —Grandfather Gandhi In the original thumbnail sketches for the book, I tried to think of ways to use shadows to communicate how Arun was feeling. The shadows could show his inner anger, the pressure to live up to his grandfather, and his untapped potential. The contrast between light and dark, often with the sun or moon beaming overhead, goes throughout the illustrations in the book, illuminating Arun’s inner struggle. Arun’s shadow follows him, showing how he sees himself. He sees his anger as an uncontrollable force within himself, and something that makes him different, monstrous, and unworthy. Throughout the story, Arun learns that his anger does not make him unworthy, but presents him with a choice of how to use that anger. Shadows can be dark and frightening, but they also have the power to unify, connect, and make the shape of things more apparent. Your potential is all about how you want to see yourself, and whom you choose to...

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