We are excited to join Kidlit Frenzy’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year. Right now we are having a “Buffet of Asian Literature: Makan! Let’s Eat! Kain Tayo!” theme until end of June. We are featuring either Asian-themed titles or food-related themes in books.
This picturebook is written from the perspective of a great-grandfather who is looking back at an earlier time when he was a young boy living in a small, quiet town in India called Aslali. He recalled a time when his father and uncles discussed things in whispers, and even the goats and chickens were agitated, sensing a mountain of dust gathering in the far-off distance.
Not long after that, the Mahatma or Gandhi-ji came through their town, along with his satyagrahis or his “soul force.”
I see a cloud of dust first. It rolls down the road, large and angry like a wild animal. A small man becomes visible through the dust. He is very old like my grandfather, but he walks so fast I wonder if he is flying. I do not need my brothers or my father to tell me who the man is. He is Gandhi, the Mahatma. The Great Soul has come to Aslali.
The book also shares information about how salt was used to change the unfair laws and practices of the British, and how with his small frame, Gandhi was able to gather thousands of bright minds and souls to march for peace and freedom using nonviolent resistance.
The Afterword also contains detailed information about the Great Salt March and there is a separate section on References for further reading and internet sources as well as the route taken tracing all the way from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi.
Written in exquisite lyrical language, the story captures this image of a young boy whose heart was lit by the mere presence of this ‘dust of cloud’ of a man whose words had the power to move worlds.
A Taste of Freedom: Gandhi and the Great Salt March by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel and illustrated by Giuliano Ferri. Published by Walker Books for Young Readers: An Imprint of Bloomsbury, 2014. Book borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.
Reading Challenge Update: 100 (25)