Martin Luther King Jr. Dayby Clara Cella
Martin Luther King Jr. believed everyone was equal. He worked hard to peacefully change laws and unite people. Let's celebrate him on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Children's Literature - Enid PortnoyCella’s book about Martin Luther King Jr. Day invites the reader to honor a famous black American who worked for, and longed for peace and non-violence between races in our country and the world. This title is part of the “Let’s Celebrate” series of books, which is designed to support social studies curriculum standards related to culture. Dr. King saw separate facilities for blacks and whites, and the division of many public buildings and spaces especially in America’s South. Illustrated on a few pages of this book are photographs of signs and segregated places to purposely keep black people and white people apart. Dr. King spoke vigorously and eloquently about such inequality and separateness. He marched, as seen in one photograph, and was in parades, and in front of public audiences, in governmental chambers, as well as in the streets and churches to carry his message of equal opportunities and freedom for all people. He is the most famous person identified with the Civil Rights Movement in America. But where is a short example or photograph of the Movement? Only on one page is there mention of “following his example”what example? Where is the description? The author mentions children might treat other people “kindly and fairly” but what did Dr. King do to emphasize this? An example or discussion is not in this book. All that readers will see is a photograph of children planting a tree. The two ideas are not linked. The book has brief sections titled: Read More, Internet Sites, Activity, the Gift of Food, and Glossary. Yes, six word definitions are on the last page. Are young readers likely to connect the words with any pictures, or actions of Dr. King, with this skimpy text and definitions on the last page? Ideas are not successfully linked to what the author might have had in mind to capture the attention and memory of early readers. This holiday was started in 1986 and continues to grow. Cella’s text needs specific examples, linking them to the man for whom the holiday is justly named. Reviewer: Enid Portnoy; Ages 7 to 9.
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