Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin LutherKing Jr.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin LutherKing Jr.

by Doreen Rappaport, Bryan Collier, Brian Collier
     
 

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This picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings his life and the profound nature of his message to young children through his own words.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a

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Overview

This picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings his life and the profound nature of his message to young children through his own words.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier's stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor paintings with vibrant patterns and textures. A timeline and a lsit of additional books and web sites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This picture-book biography provides an ideal introduction to this leader and his works. Juxtaposing original text with quotes from King's writing and speeches, Rappaport's (Escape from Slavery) narrative offers a pastiche of scenes from King's life, beginning with his childhood experience of seeing "White Only" signs sprinkled throughout his hometown. He questions his mother about their meaning, and she assures him, "You are as good as anyone." Listening to his father preach, the boy asserts that "When I grow up, I'm going to get big words, too." Rappaport also touches upon King's role in the Montgomery bus strike that followed Rosa Park's 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger and his subsequent efforts as a civil rights crusader. After briefly describing the circumstances of his death, the story concludes, quite abruptly, with the statement, "His big words are alive for us today." The author relies on her subject's own words, and his power, passion and pacifism shine through. Collier's (Uptown) striking watercolor and cut paper collage art feature closely focused, lifelike images of King and other individuals against an inventive montage of patterns and textures. The portraits of King exude his spiritual strength and peaceful visage. In the background of some scenes are intricate recreations of stained glass windows, which, Collier explains in an introductory note, he interprets as a metaphor for King's life. An elegant, understated pictorial biography. Ages 5-9. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Beautiful it its simplicity, this small biography of Martin Luther King shines forth. Rappaport's text portrays King's childhood in two pages with his discovery that in spite of the "whites only" signs, his mother's words that "You are as good as anyone" would sustain him. When he sang hymns and read from the Bible in church, he vowed that he would grow up to "get big words." His career as a minister, being influenced by Gandhi, participation in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and subsequent civil rights marches, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, threats to his family and his death are touched upon. Each short paragraph ends with a memorable quote relevant to the subject of the page and many are familiar to adult readers. Instead of drawing from the "I have a dream" speech the quote about judging people by the content of their character, the author has selected—"I have a dream that one day in Alabama little black boys and black girls will join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers." It is more accessible to the intended audience, if less ringing and memorable to the adult reader. Collier's stunning collage and bold watercolor illustrations are layered with meanings, textures, light and shadow. Stained glass windows, which appear in many of the illustrations, serve multiple symbolic purposes including providing light and a way of looking past where you are, says the illustrator in a front note. This is obviously a work of great care and love for the subject, a fine introduction and a fitting tribute to the Dr. King and his work. A chronology of important dates includes 1986 when Dr. King's birthday became a national holiday, and a fine selection of additionalreadings and web sites are suggested. 2001, Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, $16.49 and $15.99. Ages 4 to 9. Reviewer: Susan Hepler<%ISBN%>078682591X
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Collier combines his distinctive watercolor-and-collage art with Rappaport's uncluttered text to sum up King's life and work. Each two-page spread begins with a short paragraph about King and his crusade for civil rights, followed by a powerful sample of his own words set in oversized, boldface type. Both portions of the succinct text work together to emphasize the leader's courage, commitment, and, ultimately, sacrifice without sensationalizing his death. King's assassination during the 1968 Memphis garbage strike is summed up in just two short sentences: "On his second day there, he was shot. He died." The book concludes with a reassuring reminder that his words are immortal. Rappaport advises readers to use "Martin Luther King" as the search term to find more than 200 Web sites dedicated to King and the civil rights movement. Both author and illustrator preface the book with brief notes to explain specific aspects of King's life and death that inspired them in their collaboration. The result is a stunning, reverent tribute.-Catherine Threadgill, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Child Magazine
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of love, justice, and freedom shines through every page of this powerhouse of a book. Watercolor and cut-paper collages pack a visual punch, and the fluid narrative is simple enough for young readers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786807147
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
10/01/2001
Series:
Big Words Series
Edition description:
All Ages
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
303,862
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD410L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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