Cover image for A picture book of Martin Luther King, Jr.
A picture book of Martin Luther King, Jr.

1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, c1989.
Physical Description:
[32] p. : col. ill. ; 21 x 25 cm.
Reading Level:
AD 750 L Lexile
Added Author:
A brief, illustrated, biography of the Baptist minister and civil rights leader whose philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience helped American blacks win many battles for equal rights.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 921 KING 1 1

On Order



The story of the civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Author Notes

David A. Adler was born in New York City. He attended Queen's College in New York City and later, earned an MBA in Marketing from New York University.

He writes both fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of Cam Jansen mysteries and the Andy Russell titles. His titles has earned him numerous awards including a Sydney Taylor Book Award for his title "The Number on My Grandfather's Arm," "A Picture Book of Jewish Holidays" was named a Notable Book of 1981 by the American Library Association and "Our Golda" was named a Carter G. Woodson Award Honor Book.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-- This beautifully illustrated , easy-to-read biography takes a look at the life, leadership, and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Adler examines King's family background, leadership of the Montgomery bus boycott, and the 1963 march on Washington, D.C. By focusing primarily on these events, Adler provides young readers with enough basic information to form a well-rounded picture of King and his ideals. However, the outstanding feature of this book is the vivid watercolor illustrations, which are sure to capture readers' attention. Casilla dramatically reveals the mood and feelings of the era. An error appears in the chronology section, where it states that King was married in Marion, Georgia instead of Marion, Alabama (some sources list Heiberger, Alabama, which is nearby). A fine introduction to King and the freedom movement, and one that would be equally useful for storyhour and discussion groups. --Jeanette Lambert, LaVega School, Waco, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

As with Adler's previous books in this series, the picture-book format serves as a highly effective, empathetic way to introduce the life and legacy of important Americans to young children. Here the highlights of King's life are presented with an emphasis on his childhood and family. Children will immediately relate to his painful early experiences of racism and understand the genesis of his lifelong struggle for racial equality. The book portrays the hatred King endured, the horror of his assassination and the intense power of his message. A single-page list of important dates closes the book. Its most striking aspect is Casilla's evocative watercolor paintings, which expand the text while celebrating the man. Ages 4-9. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Fiction: NF Age: 4-6 Adler has condensed some of the major events in the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., into a simple, flatly prosaic, but factually correct story. Illustrations, although not lively, present identifiable images of people associated with the adult King, more than with the boyhood figure. Horn Rating: Recommended, satisfactory in style, content, and/or illustration. Reviewed by: hms (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Ages 5-7. Adler takes the broad scope of King's life and condenses it into picture-book parameters. The facts are simple and presented in a fashion that young children can grasp. The opening typifies the text: "Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of America's great leaders. He was a powerful speaker, and he spoke out against laws which kept black people out of many schools and jobs. He led protests and marches demanding fair laws for all people." Smooth and straightforward, the writing is also a trifle lackluster; however, the highlights of King's childhood, schooling, and civil-rights activities are all included. The watercolors are uneven: one of King singing in the choir at his father's church is somewhat stiff, another of him preaching has relative grace, and the final spread of King's funeral is moving. A highly useful title, especially during Black History Month when libraries are in need of material for younger readers. A list of important dates is appended. --Denise Wilms