Cover image for Be a king : Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream and you
Title:
Be a king : Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream and you
ISBN:
9780802723680
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Summary:
You can be a King. Stamp out hatred. Put your foot down and walk tall. You can be a King. Beat the drum for justice. March to your own conscience. Featuring a dual narrative of the key moments of Dr. King's life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him, Carole Weatherfor's poetic text encapsulates the moments that readers today can reenact in their own lives. See a class of young students as they begin a school project inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to follow his example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope that a future of equality and justice would soon be a reality. As times change, Dr. King's example remains, encouraging a new generation of children to take charge and change the world ... to be a King --
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Summary

Summary

You can be a King. Stamp out hatred. Put your foot down and walk tall.

You can be a King. Beat the drum for justice. March to your own conscience.

Featuring a dual narrative of the key moments of Dr. King's life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him, Carole Weatherford's poetic text encapsulates the moments that readers today can reenact in their own lives. See a class of young students as they begin a school project inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to follow his example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope that a future of equality and justice would soon be a reality. As times change, Dr. King's example remains, encouraging a new generation of children to take charge and change the world . . . to be a King.


Author Notes

Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of many children's books, including Caldecott Honor winner Moses; Coretta Scott King Honor winner Becoming Billie Holiday ; NAACP Image Award winner Gordon Parks; Carter G. Woodson Award winner The Sound That Jazz Makes ; Caldecott Honor and Robert F. Sibert Honor winner Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer ; I, Matthew Henson ; and Jesse Owens: Fastest Man Alive . She is also the recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Carole lives in North Carolina and teaches at Fayetteville State University.
www.CBWeatherford.com

James E. Ransome has illustrated many picture books including the Coretta Scott King Award-winner The Creation , the Coretta Scott King Honor-winner Uncle Jed's Barbershop and This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson. James was also one of the collaborators on Our Children Can Soar, which won the NCAAP Image Award. He lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with his wife.
www.jamesransome.com


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-In this book inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Weatherford and Ransome offer advice to a new generation of change-makers. In each spread, Weatherford repeats the refrain "You can be a King" and encourages young readers to continue Dr. King's work by taking such actions as getting a good education, standing up to bullies, believing in important causes, doing one's best, having a dream, and helping others. Each piece of advice alludes to Dr. King's life, and in some cases, recalls his speeches and writing. Ransome's art, rendered in acrylics, colored pencils, oils, and gouache, adds depth to the deceptively simple text. The illustrations alternate between full spreads depicting important events from Dr. King's life and the civil rights movement and a contemporary classroom in white space, in which a diverse group of children paint a mural of Dr. King and prepare their own march for social justice. There is a shift in the style of the art here as well; the historical scenes maintain a serious tone, while the contemporary scenes evoke a more childlike quality. An author's note provides a brief biography of Dr. King and also offers insight into both Weatherford's text as well as many of the historical moments captured in Ransome's illustrations. As such, while the book is accessible as an inspiring primer on social justice and taking action, it also challenges more sophisticated readers to make connections between the art, the text, Dr. King's life, the civil rights movement at large, and the continuing struggle to affect change. VERDICT A first purchase, this book is sure to spark discussion and empower readers of all ages.-Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Elkins Park, PA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Weatherford (In Your Hands) and Ransome (The Nutcracker in Harlem) show readers how lessons from the life of Martin Luther King Jr., translated into simple maxims, remain relevant. Alternating between decisive moments in King's life and a contemporary classroom preparing to celebrate the holiday honoring him, Weatherford assures readers, "You can be a King." One spread shows King giving his historic speech at the Lincoln Memorial ("You can be a King. Have a dream. Make yours great enough to grow into"), followed by vignettes of a child in a wheelchair making cupcakes for the celebration. The concept isn't entirely successful: the classroom scenes, rendered in a cartoony sketchbook aesthetic against white backgrounds, feel forced and stagey. But the historical scenes, painted in Ransome's signature thick, saturated style, are infused with a powerful sense of narrative. King himself is absent in one of the most stirring images: an empty bus during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The green, riderless seats affirm the King quotation that opens the book: "Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve." Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Weatherford's simple, meditative approach to distilling the work of Martin Luther King Jr. uses significant moments in his story to encourage kids to "be a King" through acts of kindness, justice, and bravery. Ransome's painterly illustrations (in oil, acrylic, colored pencil, and gouache) alternate images of King milestones with scenes of modern schoolchildren. An appended author's note provides deeper biographical information. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

This book endeavors to connect children with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by encouraging them to "be a King."The title page depicts a group of racially diverse students with one disabled child (there is no visible religious diversity in this image, though there is some later on) as they stream into school. From there, spreads alternate between scenes from Dr. King's life, illustrated in Ransome's signature painterly style, and the contemporary students, rendered in a more-informal style with loose outlines and flat blocks of color. Each block of text begins with the phrase "You can be a King." Often the illustrations complement the text: "Keep the faith of your ancestors" is paired with a spread of Dr. King's childhood home, pictures of his forebears lining the wall. The students commence work on a mural of Dr. King at school, and the "You can be a King" lessons are shown as the children paint and draw. One uncomfortable spread depicts the child in a wheelchair attempting to add to the mural, but the accessible spots appear to have been completed; the teacher and other children do not help the child to participate, but instead the child bakes cupcakes for the class. In the final spread, the lack of a "Black Lives Matter" sign among the protest signs is notable.A pretty good, if didactic, resource for adults wanting to help children draw connections between Dr. King's teachings and their own lives. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Most young people recognize Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic I Have a Dream speech, but few could actually explain the specifics of King's dream and how it applies to them. This book for emergent readers pares his message down to its most understandable form. The advice is simple: be honest, keep learning, act on your individual conscience. This advice is offered in plain terms and is written on pages filled with Ransome's colorful illustrations, which alternate between scenes in a modern classroom of children of all races, creeds, and exceptionalities, and scenes from King's own life. His first taste of bigotry as a child is illustrated, as are some of his greatest achievements, such as enrolling in Morehouse College at the age of 15, delivering his message on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and organizing nonviolent protests in Selma. By applying a repetitive and straightforward prose, the book manages to make essential lessons in civic responsibility accessible to the very young reader.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2017 Booklist