Mind. Blown. I love learning what I didn't know I didn't know. I knew that Gandhi was a peaceful protester. Maybe the first famous one who inspired many others like MLK, and I thought I knew why he was protesting. In reading this book, I realized I actually had no idea. Sad, very sad, but that situation has (at least partially) been rectified. British colonization was pretty bad stuff, generally speaking, but I never realized the extent to which they took their rule in India. Gandhi's march to the sea, the main story of "Gandhi: A March to the Sea" by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez, was his effort to draw national and international attention to the injustices of foreign rule and taxation of materials Indians could have literally scooped from the earth, or the earth right next to the salty sea at least. British rule made it illegal for Indians to scoop salt from the sea to make their own salt and they forced Indians to buy British salt and taxed it. Sound familiar? This reminded me (loosely) of our very own Boston Tea Party. Likewise, Gandhi taught the people to weave their own cloth so as to avoid buying British cloth that was also being highly taxed.
Enough about the story itself and onto the book, writing, and illustrations.
The refrain "One more step toward freedom" ties the pieces of Gandhi's march together highlighting not just the trek to scoop salt but also the stops along the way to treat the "untouchables" as equal and to preach peace among different religious groups. Each small step brought the country together and that much closer to freedom. The illustrations by Thomas Gonzalez are vague and dream-like. They feel breezy. I can feel the change in temperature as the sun sets on another day. The spread with photographers from around the world documenting the march's end at the sea is jarring and perfect. Each illustration is unique as each step of Gandhi's journey must have been.
Gandhi: A March to the Sea
Published 2013 by Amazon Children's Publishing
I borrowed this copy from my public library to read and review.