We don’t normally pitch books (except perhaps our own in the fullness of time, but we promise to do it subtly!) but Gandhi is special.
Get a book on Gandhi for your child. For Gandhi’s name is so idolized and vilified, and invoked in all possible contexts by every kind of person, that children need to make their own assessment, and what better form than through his own words or through biographies? Fortunately, there is quite a splendid selection to look at.
For small things who can read on their own: there are a couple of picture books from Tulika: Picture Gandhi by Sandhya Rao and My Gandhi Scrapbook, a collection of pictures, quotations, trivia and spaces for the child to fill in. Tulika also has The Story of the Dandi March, again by Sandhya Rao. My personal favourite for this age group is Scholastic’s Gandhi: The Path to Greatness, by Lushin Dubey, which despite its slightly ponderous title is nicely told and has little comic-strips.
There are biographies for older kids, such as Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation by Subhadra Sengupta (Puffin) and another Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation by Anita Ganeri (of Horrible Science fame) (Hachette).
More interesting are the children’s editions of Gandhi’s own writing. There are several editions of The Story of My Experiments with Truth, including a nice one published by Scholastic.
There are also collections of quotations, such as Gandhi Speaks (Puffin) and Mahatma and the Monkeys (Hachette). The latter book is quite charmingly done.
And if you want to share the experience with your child, or celebrate by yourself, there is the audiobook of The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Chakra from Karadi Tales). It is a condensed version of the book but it is quite lovely to listen to Nandita Das and Shekhar Kapur read out Gandhi’s words.
Do let us know of other books about Gandhi for children that you have read or heard of! We would love to read them.