Cover image for Martin's big words : the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Title:
Martin's big words : the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
ISBN:
9780786807147

9780439390040
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 2001
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 26 cm.
Reading Level:
AD 610 L Lexile
Genre:
Added Author:
Holds:

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Summary

Summary

Illustrated by Bryan Collier Winner of the 2001 NY Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Award, Rappaport weaves her simple and graceful text and the words of Martin Luther King Jr. into a captivating narrative, telling the story of Dr. King's life in a way that is entirely accessible for young readers. A chronology and bibliography offer the resources for exploring his life further, and stunning, full-colour collage art by the 2001 Coretta Scott King Medal winner Bryan Collier offer an unforgettable portrait of a man who helped change the world forever. All ages.


Author Notes

Doreen Rappaport 's nonfiction and historical fiction books have been acclaimed for their meticulous research and varied literary styles. She is the recipient of the Washington Post ?Children's Book Guild lifetime achievement award for the writing of nonfiction. Among her many award-winning biographies are Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , illustrated by Bryan Collier, a Caldecott Honor Book, Coretta Scott King Honor Book, Orbis Pictus Honor Book, and a Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner; and Abe's Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln , illustrated by Kadir Nelson, the Library of Virginia's Whitney and Scott Cardozo Award winner, a CCBC Best Book of the Year, and an IRA Teachers' Choice. Doreen lives in upstate New York. Visit her at www.doreenrappaport.com.

Bryan Collier is an American writer and illustrator known best for illustrating children's books. He won both the Coretta Scott King Award, as illustrator, and the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for UPTOWN, the first book he both wrote and illustrated. He has won six King Awards as illustrator and he is a four-time Caldecott honor recipient. For his lifetime contribution as a children's illustrator, Collier is U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014.


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

This picture-book biography provides an ideal introduction to this leader and his works. Juxtaposing original text with quotes from King's writing and speeches, Rappaport's (Escape from Slavery) narrative offers a pastiche of scenes from King's life, beginning with his childhood experience of seeing "White Only" signs sprinkled throughout his hometown. He questions his mother about their meaning, and she assures him, "You are as good as anyone." Listening to his father preach, the boy asserts that "When I grow up, I'm going to get big words, too." Rappaport also touches upon King's role in the Montgomery bus strike that followed Rosa Park's 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger and his subsequent efforts as a civil rights crusader. After briefly describing the circumstances of his death, the story concludes, quite abruptly, with the statement, "His big words are alive for us today." The author relies on her subject's own words, and his power, passion and pacifism shine through. Collier's (Uptown) striking watercolor and cut paper collage art feature closely focused, lifelike images of King and other individuals against an inventive montage of patterns and textures. The portraits of King exude his spiritual strength and peaceful visage. In the background of some scenes are intricate recreations of stained glass windows, which, Collier explains in an introductory note, he interprets as a metaphor for King's life. An elegant, understated pictorial biography. Ages 5-9. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Horn Book Review

(Primary) This is one book you can judge by its cover. The space on the front jacket is entirely filled with a large, inviting portrait of a smiling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; the usual publication data (title, author, illustrator) are printed on the back. Inside, the text is a mix of Rappaport's finely honed biographical narrative and appropriate quotes from King himself, emphasizing the concept that from his youth Martin had sought to inspire others with his words, as he had heard his father do. The essential and pivotal events of King's life, including the early days of the civil rights movement, the march on Washington, and King's assassination, are presented in a straightforward yet moving style. The facts are extended by Bryan Collier's breathtaking collage illustrations, which dazzle, challenge, and inspire with their repletion of motifs (such as stained-glass windows) and the mixture ofsymbols and realism (as in the depiction of black Americans carrying a flag as they march for freedom). This exemplary biography of one of the great leaders of the twentieth century will remind another generation of the grandeur of his legacy. With informative forewords from author and illustrator, a chronology, and a selective listing of further readings and websites. m.m.b. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Ages 4-9. "Remember if I am stopped, this movement will not be stopped, because God is with this movement." Weaving in Dr. King's own "big words," this inspiring picture-book biography celebrates the great leader as preacher and politician. Rappaport's spare narrative captures the essentials of the man, the movement he led, and his policy of nonviolence. Only in the case of Rosa Parks is the glimpse too simplistic, presenting her as an individual who refused to give up her seat on the bus, rather than as the political activist she was. Collier's collage art is glorious. Combining cut-paper, photographs, and watercolor he expresses his own Christian faith and King's power "to make many different things one." Stained glass windows are the dominant images, not only in the many church scenes, but also in the play of shape, light, and color in the realistic views of the city. With powerful art and pulsing words ("He walked with them and talked with them and sang with them and prayed with them"), this is a fine book to share and read aloud many times. --Hazel Rochman


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Collier combines his distinctive watercolor-and-collage art with Rappaport's uncluttered text to sum up King's life and work. Each two-page spread begins with a short paragraph about King and his crusade for civil rights, followed by a powerful sample of his own words set in oversized, boldface type. Both portions of the succinct text work together to emphasize the leader's courage, commitment, and, ultimately, sacrifice without sensationalizing his death. King's assassination during the 1968 Memphis garbage strike is summed up in just two short sentences: "On his second day there, he was shot. He died." The book concludes with a reassuring reminder that his words are immortal. Rappaport advises readers to use "Martin Luther King" as the search term to find more than 200 Web sites dedicated to King and the civil rights movement. Both author and illustrator preface the book with brief notes to explain specific aspects of King's life and death that inspired them in their collaboration. The result is a stunning, reverent tribute.-Catherine Threadgill, DeKalb County Public Library, Atlanta, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Beginning with the startling cover, which contains only the face of Martin Luther King Jr., with his smile broad, and his eyes crinkled in laughter, this title intrigues. It's an homage in words and pictures, in which the author weaves King's words with her own to present a brief but stately portrait of the American hero. Rappaport explains that as a child King was determined to use "big words," no doubt the result of listening to his father preach. On many subsequent spreads, King is pictured as an adult, and a direct quote is reproduced in bold type. In fact, King's words were huge in idealism, delivering a message that was big in simple yet profound ways that can be understood by young readers. In smaller print, Rappaport gives historical context. Her sentences have a directness and symmetry that sets off King's more transcendent, poetic quotes. Collier's watercolor and cut-paper-collage illustrations express deep feeling. On the cover and final two portraits, King is depicted with a subtle monochromatic technique, which alludes strongly to a stained-glass metaphor, represented in portraits of King's church. In other spreads featuring King himself, his face is lit, giving it a powerful visual weight and compelling readers to pay attention. While the cover portrait shows his eyes glancing to the side, in the final portrait he looks directly at the reader, his eyes offering an unmistakable challenge. Author and Illustrator Notes are moving as well as informative, and quotes are attributed. Readers will hear his voice echo in this presentation. (timeline, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 5-9)