MY UNCLE MARTIN'S WORDS FOR AMERICA by Angela Farris Watkins

MY UNCLE MARTIN'S WORDS FOR AMERICA

Age Range: 5 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Following My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart (2010), this effort focuses more on King’s work to end segregation than his life as a family man.

Explaining Jim Crow laws and the Civil Rights movement to a very young audience is not easy, but Watkins and Velasquez rise to the challenge with grace and warmth. Using a childlike voice, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece simply and clearly emphasizes themes of love, nonviolence, freedom and equality. The repetitive text instills the message “people listened, and things changed” and focuses on the positive. While the prejudice and violence of segregation is broached, such as when King’s home is bombed with his wife and baby daughter inside, the intensity and extent of that violence is omitted. The result is a condensed introduction to this moment in American history and to the man who made great changes using words, not violence. Rich, expressive illustrations depict some scenes from the Civil Rights movement that many adults will find familiar. The artist gives the images his own style of realism lightened by warm colors and soft lines. Author's and illustrator's notes are followed by a chart outlining King’s work and the resulting outcomes.

Though picture books about Dr. King by his family members and others abound, this stands out for its graceful, age-appropriate treatment of the Movement. (glossary, bibliography, books for young readers, index) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0022-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2011




MARTIN LUTHER KING IN PICTURE BOOKS:

Children WE MARCH by Shane W.  Evans
by Shane W. Evans
Children HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARTIN LUTHER KING by Jean Marzollo
by Jean Marzollo
Children MY DREAM OF MARTIN LUTHER KING by Faith Ringgold
by Faith Ringgold
Children MARTIN’S BIG WORDS by Doreen Rappaport
by Doreen Rappaport

MORE BY ANGELA FARRIS WATKINS

ChildrenMARTIN LUTHER KING JR. by Angela Farris Watkins
by Angela Farris Watkins
ChildrenMY UNCLE MARTIN'S BIG HEART by Angela Farris Watkins
by Angela Farris Watkins

MORE BY ERIC VELASQUEZ

ChildrenOL' CLIP-CLOP by Patricia C. McKissack
by Patricia C. McKissack
ChildrenAS FAST AS WORDS COULD FLY by Pamela M. Tuck
by Pamela M. Tuck
ChildrenTHE PRICE OF FREEDOM by Dennis Brindell Fradin
by Dennis Brindell Fradin