Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport and Bryan Collier.
Using simple but powerful words and beautiful images, the story of Dr. King’s fight for equality is recounted here.
This book, which won the Coretta Scott King Award, the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award and a Caldecott Honor, tells of the life, struggles, death and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. written in simple small sentences and accompanied with notable quotes from Dr. King himself, all the major moments of his life are told in a way which will be easily understood by children young and old.
Bryan Collier’s collages are strikingly beautiful and bring together photographs and illustrations in a truly eye-catching manner. Often a bit bleak in color, there are occasional flashes of color like bursts of hope in the struggle for equality. This excellent recounting of the life and death of Dr. King makes clear the depth of the struggle, the bravery of those who risked their life for rights, and the legacy this man left behind.
When Marian Sang: the true recital of Marian Anderson. Pam Muñoz Ryan; illustrated by Brian Selznick.
Straightforward text, accompanied by song lyrics and illustrations by Brian Selznick, this rich book tells the story of singer Marian Anderson’s struggle as a beloved black singer in a racist America.
Born in 1897, Marian Anderson was immediately singled out for her singular voice. As an African-American, this was a complicated thing, as her voice was loved by all who heard it, but because she was black she could not perform many places. Like many black performers of her time, she traveled overseas to make a name, as Europe in the 20s was not as discriminatory.
The text of this book is at once condescending and complex. These are heavy topics to cover in a book for young children. Caldecott-winning illustrator carries the book. Were it not for his rich illustrations, the book wouldn’t be half as good as it is. The way Marian Anderson helped shake the racial divide was significant and it is well addressed in this book. Culminating with her historic performance in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the book successfully shares the frustrations and accomplishments of her life.