Be The Change

In this breathtaking companion to the award-winning Grandfather Gandhi, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, tells a poignant, personal story of the damage of wastefulness, gorgeuously illustrated by Evan Turk. At Grandfather Gandhi’s service village, each day is filled, from sunrise to sunset, with work that is done for the good of all. The villagers vow to live simply and non-violently. Arun Gandhi tries very hard to follow these vows, but he struggles with one of the most important rules: not to waste. How can throwing away a worn-down pencil hurt anyone? How can wastefulness lead to violence? With the help of his grandfather, Arun learns how every wasteful act, no matter how small, affects others. And in time he comes to understand the truth of his grandfather’s words: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Out of the Way! Out of the Way!

A young boy spots a baby tree growing in the middle of a dusty path in his village. He carefully places rocks around it as the local mango seller rushes past shouting, ?Out of the way! Out of the way!” As the tree grows bigger, people and animals traverse the path until it becomes a lane, flowing like a river around the tree and getting out of its way. Over time, the lane becomes a road, and a young man crossing the road with his children remembers the baby tree from long ago. By the time he is an old man, the tree has become a giant. The city traffic continues to rattle past, noisier and busier than ever, but sometimes the great tree works its magic, and people just stop, and listen. In this simple, lyrical story, a wide-spreading tree and a busy road grow simultaneously, even as time passes and the footsteps of people and animals give way to speeding cars, buses and trucks.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 1

The Umbrella Queen

When Noot is finally allowed to paint umbrellas like the other women and girls in her villatge, she secrely hopes that she might be chosen as this year’s Umbrella Queen.  Carefully, she creates serene flowers and butterflies- exactly as she has seen her mother and grandmother do for years.

But soon her imagination takes over, and Noot finds herself straying from the old patterns to the dismay of her family, who depend on the traditionally painted umbrellas for their livlihood.

Her parents tell her she must go back to the old designs and Noot obeys, knowing that the King is coming soon to name the one who has painted the most beautiful umbrella.  after all, the King would never choose a queen who breaks from tradition…would he?

Only The Mountains Do Not Move

Nobody can say he is settled anywhere forever;
it is only the mountains which do not move from their places.

So goes a Maasai proverb, and so goes the lives of the Maasai in Africa. For hundreds of years they have moved with their herds of cattle and goats across thousands of miles in Kenya and Tanzania.

Today the Maasai face new challenges. Their traditional way of life is threatened, lands are overgrazed, and wildlife is in danger. Maasai tribes are meeting these obstacles head-on adapting their lives and agricultural practices while keeping their vibrant, close-knit culture alive.

Award-winning author-photographer Jan Reynolds presents a striking glimpse of these dynamic people. Only the Mountains Do Not Move shows one Maasai tribe’s remarkable ability to forge a delicate balance between the richness of the past and the needs of the future.

The Kampung Boy

Lat recounts the life of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up in rural Malaysia in the 1950s: his adventures and mischief-making, fishing trips, religious study, and work on his family’s rubber plantation. Meanwhile, the traditional way of life in his village (or kampung>) is steadily disappearing, with tin mines and factory jobs gradually replacing family farms and rubber small-holders. When Mat leaves for boarding school, he can only hope that his familiar kampung will still be there when he returns.

Orani: My Father’s Village

As a child, Claire Nivola loved summers in Orani, the village where her father grew up and where her many aunts, uncles, and 50 cousins still lived. She ran freely through the town’s cobbled streets with packs of cousins, who quizzed her about America while she took in all the simple joys and pleasures of daily life in a village where surprises met them at every turn.

It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folk Tale

Once upon a time a poor unfortunate man lived with his mother, his wife, and his six children in a one-room hut.Because they were so crowded, the children often fought and the man and his wife argued. When the poor man was unable to stand it any longer, he ran to the Rabbi for help.  As he follows the Rabbi’s unlikely advice, the poor man’s life goes from bad to worse, with increasingly uproarious results. In his little hut, silly calamity follows foolish catastrophe, all memorably depicted in full-color illustrations that are both funnier and lovelier than any this distinguished artist has done in the past.