Friday, March 21, 2014

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport






Genre: Racism / Biography / African-American

Year Published: 2001

Year Read:  2010

Publisher: Jump At The Sun


 When I was a child, I always wanted to learn more about the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while at the same time, I wanted to see a picture book for children that details Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s life in an uplifting way.  Well, I just found such a picture book detailing Martin Luther King Junior’s life and it is called “Martin’s Big Words.”  “Martin’s Big Words” is written by Doreen Rappaport along with illustrations by Bryan Collier and has won many awards including the Caldecott Honor book award, the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book and the Coretta Scott King Honor book award.  This book details the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a picture book format and is easily one of the most inspirational pictures books ever created!

When I saw that this book won two honors and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, I was so intrigued because I had not seen a book win so many awards since Audrey Wood’s “The Napping House” and I think that this book richly deserves the awards it had won.  Doreen Rappaport has done an excellent job at detailing the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and has indeed done her research on his life as there is a list of events that happened during Martin Luther King Junior’s life at the end of the book that I think will definitely help children know about the various events that happened during Martin Luther King Junior’s life.  Doreen Rappaport makes this book extremely effective by using large and bold texts to describe various phrases that Martin Luther King Jr. used during his life such as he was a child, he uses the phrase “When I grow up, I’m going to get big words too” and the phrase is in blue, large and bold letters, which I think is effective in describing the various phrases that Martin used during his life to inspire the effects he had on America.  Bryan Collier’s illustrations are extremely beautiful and effective, especially of the images of Martin Luther King Jr. speaking inside the church as you can see the stained glass windows at the background and they look extremely realistic and colorful.  Also, Bryan Collier has done an excellent job at creating a dramatic atmosphere to the characters, especially of the image of Martin Luther King Jr. preaching in church and you can see the white light glow on him, which might indicate that he is angel sent to Earth as the light glow on him in an extremely effective way.

“Martin’s Big Words” is a true masterpiece on describing the life of Martin Luther King Jr. through the eyes of children and many children will definitely enjoy the book immensely.  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since smaller children might be a bit upset at the racism themes displayed in this book, even though this book is telling the audience about the trials that Martin faces during his life.




* 2002 Caldecott Honor
* 2002 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrator Honor



 

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