Monday, January 21, 2013

I Have A Dream

words by Martin Luther King Jr.
illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Schwartz & Wade/Random House | 2012
Get it here.

Award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson (Caldecott Honors for Henry's Freedom Box in 2008 and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom in 2007) brings Martin Luther King Jr's iconic speech to life in this new book. And I'm here to tell you it's as beautiful as Nelson's past contributions to the field of children's literature.

I'm telling you on the day we set aside each year to remember MLK, which also happens, this year, to the be the day that Barack Obama will take his second oath of office in the very city where MLK gave the speech presented in this book.

I mean, look at this:
I was lucky enough to see an exhibit of Nelson's original art for his book about the Negro League, We Are The Ship, last year at the Carle Museum in Western Massachusetts. His art is just stunning. Looking at his books makes it easy to imagine why.

One might think there are enough books in the world about MLK already. I think there's no way that's true. Each generation will continue to interpret the words of the civil rights leader taken from us far too early in their own way. And some members of each generation, like Nelson, will interpret them visually. What a gift. 

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