Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


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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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786807147
Publisher: Disney Press
Publication date: 10/01/2001
Series: Big Words Series
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 198,614
Product dimensions: 10.30(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: AD610L (what's this?)
Age Range: 6 - 8 Years

About the Author

Doreen Rappaport ( has written numerous award-winning books for children, including: Freedom Ship and The School Is Not White, both illustrated by Curtis James; Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier, a Caldecott Honor Book, Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Orbis Pictus Honor Book, and a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner; Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, CCBC Best Book of the Year, and an IRA Teacher's Choice; Eleanor, Quiet No More, illustrated by Gary Kelly; and Jack's Path of Courage, illustrated by Matt Tavares. She lives and writes in upstate New York.

Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award winner Bryan Collier has created art for many award winning children's books, including his master achievements, Rosa, Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Freedom River, and John's Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon. Bryan lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

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Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
AnniDominguez More than 1 year ago
Martin's Big Words is such a wonderful book to read to young children who have yet to learn about Dr. King himself. It's wonderful illustrations and colorful words show children the world of the past. It is a great book to allow children of all ages to ask questions about Martin Luther Kings' life. This book allows readers to look through the windows of the long, fought life of Martin Luther King. The author tells the story in the most simple matter but she uses strong words to emphasize her points. Doreen Rappaport knew what she was doing when she created this wonderful children's book. I would recommend this book for any teacher, or parent who is willing to give their child a sneak peek into the lives of the past heroes.
Jackie_Stovall More than 1 year ago
Martin’s Big Words is a wonderful book. It is probably meant for children between first and second grade. In my opinion it does an exceptional job of explaining a tough topic to young children in a positive way. The discrimination of African Americans is often times really difficult for children in today’s day and age to understand. Of course discrimination is still around today, but it is probably harder for children to see than it was in the time of Martin Luther King Jr. because of how taboo it has become. Then, it was just a way of life. The one thing I especially liked about the book was the fact that it started out describing Martin in his youth, noticing the racial signs on doors of stores and restaurants. I think it makes it more accessible to children to realize this great historical figure was once a child just like them. It makes them wonder that if Martin saw things that were wrong when he was a child and he grew up to be a leader of change, then maybe they can too. It is important for children to know that they are capable of greatness, even though right now they are just children; that change begins by looking around at our society when we are young and thinking about the things we would change for the better. Personally, as a future teacher, I would be glad to have this book in my classroom not only to teach children about the struggles of our country’s past, but also to inspire them to evaluate the world they live in and hopefully move to improve it. Rappaport, D. (2007). Martin's big words. Hyperion Books for Children.
LemaMichelle More than 1 year ago
This is a great story about the early life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I love that it simplifies things for elementary aged students. It's a great story of the life that the great Dr. King lived and what motivated him to do the work that he did. This story also shows that if you strive to make a difference, it can be accomplished. It also teaches students that if they witness an injustice, it is up to them to stand up and make their voice heard. The illustration in this story is magnificent. Illustrated with the stunning collage art, Martin's Big Words is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose dream changed America, and the world, forever.
CircusTrain on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5Q5PAn accessible look at Dr. King, with warm, inviting illustrations. Good basic information (particularly appended), but not too heavy for young readers. Rappaport doesn't soften up the story of Dr. King overly, but still leaves it appropriate to picture book aged audiences - not an easy balance, but deftly attained here.
cmesa1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book to show the students how important words and actions are. Starts by saying that Martin luther king's Mother told him always that " You are as good as anyone "the one that I like the most is how he wanted people to know that " hate cannot drive out hate only Love can do that". the author tells all the historic aspects of the time and ends the books by saying that His big words are alive for us today!!!!
bestwhensimple on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This wonderful book by Doreen Rappaport is about one of the most important figures in American history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. Most of the book describes Martin's adult life and the differences he made in cities all over the United States during the Civil Rights Movement. The title of the story clues its readers in to MLK's strategy for making a difference. His was a non-violent movement based on talks between equals. For this reason, the title, Martin's Big Words, is apt. It's also appropriate because every two-page spread in the book has a quote from MLK on it in large font alongside the more narrative-focused text. The narrative follows MLK until his death. I appreciate how simply Rappaport writes about his assassination. She doesn't focus on the hate that caused his death, but goes to say, with hope, that "his big words are alive for us today." It's a beautiful end to a beautiful book.A lot of the beauty of this book comes from Bryan Collier's Caldecott Honor-winning illustrations. He used collage and watercolors to bring his images to life. The flames on the candles are pictures of real flames that have been cut out and pasted. The faces of the people in the book are mostly painted, except for one significant example, the image of the girl in front of an American flag. Her face is partly collage, with different colors. Collier shows us that we're all Americans, no matter what color we are. Images like this one make this book a work of art, not to mention a fine example of exceptional children's literature.
whitnihatfield on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of Martin Luther King Jr. for children to read. It is very encouraging and it tells the story in a way for young children to understand his life and the difference he made in the world.I loved this book. It focused on his philosophy of love and non-violence. I love the illustrations and the wonderful way the author explained his life. This is a great book.This would be a good book to use for African American History month and different projects for the classroom to use. I love the way this book presents his life. It also has a timeline in the back that teachers can use and it will help the students for a project about an important person in history.
lmaddux on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
true story that demonstrates one Martin Luther King Jr. mission of unity
aconant05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book tells about the passion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how he changed the world with simple words and beautiful illustrations that are perfect for children's understanding.
LyndaHuntley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This multicultural book is a very powerful and moving book about the history of how Martin Luther King, Jr. made a difference to the United States during the 1960's. It is a summary of the experiences that Martin Luther King Jr. had when he was a child and as he grew up when there were separate restrooms and water fountains. The segregation was demonstrated through excellent Illustrations. The drawings reveal the struggles that African American people had because of segregation. It demonstrates the power of words to change a generation. The book reveals Martin Luther King Jr.'s role in making the difference between races. I really enjoyed this book. It is such a good summary of history revealed through pictures and words. It also includes the important dates of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life on the final pages well as additional books and websites that can be used with this study. In the classroom, an extension activity is making a timeline of all the events mentioned in the book. We could also read about Rosa Parks who is mentioned about in the book.
kirkonly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Martin¿s Big Words is a beautiful, emotional, and powerful book. It is about his life and what happened in it. It shows you how his words changed the world. This astounding book is also accompanied by great illustrations. Very Highly Recommended.As a student this book can change the way someone looks at Martin Luther King Jr. and the world. I liked how the author puts quotes of MLK¿s in the book away from everything. The illustrations are also very well done, they add a lot to the book.As a teacher not only is this book great to have out on display on MLK day, but to have on display all the time. The words are so powerful. I could use the small quotes of his in the book to start discussions about certain topics. AMAZING teacher/person book.
anita.west on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Martin¿s Big Words is a simplified biography about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is a beautiful, very touching book and that encompasses the trails Dr. King tried so hard to fight with words instead of violence. This book depicts, very well, what life would have been like for African American people living in his time.This book pierces my soul. I feel as though that author and illustrator, together through the use of their words and art work, allow the reader to look directly through Martins eyes straight into his heart and soul. This book helps the reader to understand Dr. King¿s courage and his passion for mankind.This book would be an asset to any classroom. It can be used in many ways. First, it would be a good tool for adding multicultural literature to the classroom library. It could be used along with other books to do a study on the life of Dr. King. I especially like the collage style art work. The students could take ¿Martin Big Words¿ and illustrate them in a method of their choosing.
iecj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book offers a simple synopsis of Martin Luther King Jr's message of peaceful protest. Young readers are told about Dr. King's desire as a young child to help gain equality for all once he was older. Information about the civil rights movement including segregation, the Montgomery bus boycott, and marches is included. The book was illustrated by Bryan Collier whose trademark collage / paint style trully complements the work. This book is intended for younger readers, but can be enjoyed by anyone.
jesanu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. told, in part, in his own words. Illustrator Collier uses a mixed media collage to illustrate this inspiring account. The collage represents a melding of different media just as America is a melding of different people. He repeatedly uses stained glass windows as a metaphor.
CollierStudy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a brief biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is written and illustrated in a unique way that makes more than just another biography of this famous man. The book is written using powerful quotes from Dr. King that are strengthened through Collier¿s illustrations. Collier uses a lot of symbolism in this book, which he notes in the front of the book. For instance, the book contains several stained glass windows, which Collier used to represent the light coming through the dark. He also has four candles at the end of the book that are meant to represent the four girls who were killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist church during the Civil Rights movement. Collier has a strength in conveying mood or tone through illustrations, which he makes use of in this book. Collier¿s illustrations help the reader to feel the emotion of the Civil Rights movement. This book would be appropriate for both developing and fluent readers. For developing readers, it offers a brief introduction into the concept of civil rights and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as long as there is teacher-assisted discussion. Fluent readers would enjoy this book as well because they would have a greater understanding of Dr. King and the issues of his time. This book won the Caldecott Award and the Coretta Scott King Award for illustrations.
colliercritics on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent for an understanding of the civil rights movement of which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. played such a vital role. His ideas are gracing these pages with proclamations of peace and equality. It is apparent that his ideas did not die with him. The story chronicles the chapters of his life in such a way that it will be appreciated by a younger audience. However, despite the amazing illustrations and simple format, the story would be most appropriate for an older audience.
rdavis9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a picture book biography. It is a sparse narrative that combines Dr. King's word with the author's to tell his story. It is a wonderful book to help children understand the life and work of Dr. King.
sunnyburke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully powerful book that takes the words Martin Luther King Jr. so passionately believed in and makes them the focal point of the story. It is a simple and sweet story that goes from his childhood to his death. Even though it isn't a long book, it still is extremely powerful and leaves a lasting impact. It is a great book for kids to understand who Martin Luther King Jr. was, why he was willing to give his life for equal rights, and that his parents were the ones to thank for teaching him the importance of equality.
kyoder06 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Age appropriateness: intermediate Genre: BiographyMedia: Paint and InkThis book falls into the biography category because it recounts the life and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It follows the life of an actual person and provides real facts to the reader in a chronological order. This is a great book because it is a biography that I think younger students can definitely get into due to the pictures and layout of the text. I love the idea of having books like this in the classroom that are accessible to all the students
sharese on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary:A book about the life and dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. Collage pictures combined with wonderful words describing King's life and his dream of equality for all people. History plus a positive message are the themes of this wonderful book.Review:I loved many things about this book including:1. The author and illustrator both wrote in the begining of the book what their vision was for the book.2. The colorful and meaningful collages put together by the illustrator are full and lush and require a very long look at all the pages. Many layers of paper are used to create the finished product. 3. A timeline in the back of the book goes from MLK's birth up to his death detailing many of the things in his life that we have come to associate with him. An amazing book that should be a "Must Read" for all students.
EricaRodriguez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Martin¿s Big Words is a biography about Martin Luther King Jr. and the words he used during his preaching. I felt the book was inspiring and could be used to teach tolerance and the strength of words as opposed to violence. One of the best quotes in the book that shows cultural pride and the strength to better African-American people was ¿When the history books are written, someone will say there lived black people who had the courage to stand up for their right¿ (Rappaport, 2001, p. 14). The book shows historically significant moments in the life and future of not only Martin Luther King Jr., but of all African-Americans. It depicts the undying hope to be considered equals in the United States. Another culturally significant aspect of the book is the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister and led his people to a higher path. This shows the importance of religion and faith in African-American society.This juvenile biography could be used during story-time because of its short and to the point writing and also the beautiful pictures that depict the scenes in the book. If combined with other books that depict racial inequality and the time period or even today, it could be used to teach tolerance and understanding in the story-time.
stharp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This biographical account of Martins life is accurate and it creates a new way to communicate the highlights of a man who lived to be great through his 'big words' and non violent change. The book is an excellent book to use in a classroom or in a home situation because of the empathetic means in which it was written.
rfewell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book for introducing young children to MLK, Jr.
DayehSensei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An eloquent, simple text about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. It presents facts without cumbersome dates and heavy text. The illustrations are truly captivating. Students will enjoy interacting with the "big words."
Courtney Dunaway More than 1 year ago
Martin's Big Words is a wonderful book that I would definitely encourage all parent or teachers to read with their children. The illustrations in the book are wonderful representations of Martin Luther King Jr., which could be used to introduce kids to this time in history. The simple explanation is great for children to learn the basics of who Martin Luther was and why his particular I have a dream speech was so important then and even today. The story conveys the message and theme of the power and importance that words and peaceful protest can have, and that everyone has self-worth so all people deserve respect.