"Guru Nanak the Magnificent" - Children's Book

Beautifully illustrated poem celebrates the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji & pays homage to the 550th Parkash Purab

"Guru Nanak the Magnificent" - Children's Book | Mighty Khalsa

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Mighty Khalsa presents the long awaited children’s picture book “Guru Nanak the Magnificent” by Baljinder Kaur. This beautifully illustrated poem celebrates the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, in gratitude of the light that they have brought into this world.
Available to purchase at www.mightykhalsa.com
Format: Hardcover book, 22.7 x 26.6cm, 32 pages

Book Review of 'Guru Nanak the Magnificent'
by Baljinder Kaur
Published by: Mighty Khalsa.

Where does one begin reviewing this labour of love that pays homage to the 550th Parkash Purab of Guru Nanak Sahib? In particular, rising to the challenge of creating for an audience of little people. Baljinder Kaur, as both the author and illustrator, beautifully entwines the aesthetic and the word to convey some deep rooted foundational concepts of Sikhi (way of life).

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Starting with the inside cover of the book, a place often overlooked. The artist combines shades of pastel blue and textured imagery to bring to life the familiar paisley-boteh pattern. A design originating from Persia yet universally adopted across the world including on many Panjabi suits! 

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Next draw your attention to the intricacy and multi layered illustrations. Note the subtle detailing on the petals of the flowers, the wings of the birds, the rippled reflection of the city in the water and the complementary designs occupying the window spaces of the buildings. The detail gives life and dimension to every page without overpowering the eyes.  The architecture of the buildings gives a nod to Eastern tradition and inclusivity whilst highlighting the many places Guru Sahib visited in his life.

Colour is used effectively to convey mood. Hues of blue and green on Mother Earth, combined with the downward strokes and facial expression convey the sadness and distress of the planet, contrasting with the vibrancy and warmth of the pallet used in Guru Ji's life-travels. The reader sees themselves represented in the image of the child Guru, the brown skin tone and the curly dark hair.

The underlying sublime message is present consistently on every inch of the book. The imagery offers the reader a sense of who was Guru Nanak Sahib; a majestic being, yet a man of the people. The artist's effective use of light expresses a Divine presence that does not remain only on the Guru but leaves a shimmer of stardust on the people and company that surround him. Note the expression and general aura of the snake, the sangat in meditation, Bhai Mardana etc.

Any image by its sheer existence is limiting. However, it is commendable the artist is able to address the sensitivity of creating an image of Guru Sahib, by developing a representation of Guru Ji which grows and changes throughout the book yet consistently manifests with light.  Thereby offering the reader a focus that is beyond a fixed image but rather a movement of the jyot (internal-light). The term God which often conjures up a prescribed image of physical separation between the Creator and creation, though present in its written form, is largely counteracted with the interweaving presence of nature in every image. The author may wish to explore other written expressions of Ik Oankar in future works.

The book concludes with the transfer of the jyot to Bhai Lehna, opening the reader to a visual representation of the concept of Guruship and (hint hint!) a possible follow-up publication or series.  Although it is a children's book, adults will enjoy the gentle invitation of the words and art to dive deep into their imagination and ignite or rekindle curiosity. The book is a chance to create further meaning of concepts that are familiar albeit often superficially understood. It has sparked my interest to know more of my Guru's life and how their journey can help aide and support my own.

Thank you.

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Trailer soundtrack by Acapella Jatha www.acapellajatha.com

Studio - Pardesi Studios
Music Producer/Director - H Jheeta
Insta - harpreet.jheeta
#GuruNanakDevJi #Guru #MightyKhalsa --- Mighty Khalsa and Basics of Sikhi are projects by Everythings 13, an educational charity dedicated to spreading the wisdom of the Sikh Gurus.
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