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MY UNCLE MARTIN'S BIG HEART by Angela Farris Watkins


by Angela Farris Watkins & illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8975-7
Publisher: Abrams

Martin Luther King's niece offers a child's-eye tribute to her famous uncle, whom she remembers as warm and loving, a man with a loud voice who enjoyed a good laugh. The author was not yet four when King was assassinated but tells her first-person story in a slightly older voice. Velasquez's paintings match that, showing a pigtailed girl of five or six, as well as King in a variety of settings: speaking, preaching and leading marchers, visiting her family and at home with his own. The emphasis is on King's love for his extended family as well as his country and its people. The intended audience may find the chronology confusing, with appealing stories of early-childhood encounters coming before the telegram congratulating her mother on her birth. But the image of King sleeping on the couch with shoes on will stick with them, humanizing a man who has become an icon. This unusual perspective and the dramatic art make this a worthwhile addition to the ever-growing MLK collection. (Informational picture book. 4-7)