Baba in the Park
by Baldev Singh Sandhu

"All my white, black, or brown sisters and brothers, do not hate; love each other."

This bright, cheerful children’s book encourages children to get along, no matter what their race, religion, or national origin, with a particular focus on anti-bullying. These enduring ideals are delivered by Baba, an old man passing through the park one day. Baba is loudly singing as he observes children playing nicely together. But one child, Amrit, admits to Baba that he used to be a terrible bully until his teacher took him to a garden where he could see that all flowers were equally beautiful, growing together under the watchful eye of the gardener. Baba tells the children that he learned his wisdom from his grandmother. He teaches the children to sing his song of love and anti-bullying and says that together they can change the world.

Illustrated in action-packed cartoon pictures by Vidvatam Productions, Sandhu’s book does not dwell on the bad but emphasizes the good. There are simple portraits of four great role models of equality and tolerance, two of whom are familiar to American readers—Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. The other two are also important: Bhai Kanhaiya Ji was a Sikh of ancient times who formed a mission that helped anyone without regard to class, caste, or national distinctions, and Viola Desmond was Canada’s first and most famous civil rights activist, whose picture is slated to appear on the Canadian ten-dollar bill beginning in 2018. Sandhu has previous works written in Punjabi focused on religious themes but wishes now to reach out to future generations with a message of tolerance and happiness. Targeting young children with an uncomplicated but meaningful message, this is a good starting point for combatting the problem of bullying.

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