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Martin's Big words : the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. /

Main Author:
Other Authors: Collier, Brian,
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Hyperion Books for Children, 2001
Edition: First edition.
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SUMMARY

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.


Review by Booklist Review

Ages 4-9. "Remember if I am stopped, this movement will not be stopped, because God is with this movement." Weaving in Dr. King's own "big words," this inspiring picture-book biography celebrates the great leader as preacher and politician. Rappaport's spare narrative captures the essentials of the man, the movement he led, and his policy of nonviolence. Only in the case of Rosa Parks is the glimpse too simplistic, presenting her as an individual who refused to give up her seat on the bus, rather than as the political activist she was. Collier's collage art is glorious. Combining cut-paper, photographs, and watercolor he expresses his own Christian faith and King's power "to make many different things one." Stained glass windows are the dominant images, not only in the many church scenes, but also in the play of shape, light, and color in the realistic views of the city. With powerful art and pulsing words ("He walked with them and talked with them and sang with them and prayed with them"), this is a fine book to share and read aloud many times. --Hazel Rochman

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
AUTHOR NOTES

Doreen Rappaport 's nonfiction and historical fiction books have been acclaimed for their meticulous research and varied literary styles. She is the recipient of the Washington Post ?Children's Book Guild lifetime achievement award for the writing of nonfiction. Among her many award-winning biographies are 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; and Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln , illustrated by Kadir Nelson, the Library of Virginia's Whitney and Scott Cardozo Award winner, a CCBC Best Book of the Year, and an IRA Teachers' Choice. Doreen lives in upstate New York. Visit her at www.doreenrappaport.com.

Bryan Collier is an American writer and illustrator known best for illustrating children's books. He won both the Coretta Scott King Award, as illustrator, and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for UPTOWN, the first book he both wrote and illustrated. He has won six King Awards as illustrator and he is a four-time Caldecott honor recipient. For his lifetime contribution as a children's illustrator, Collier is U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014.


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