Monday, January 21, 2013

Non-fiction Picture Book Review: Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King
Written by: Jean Marzollo
Illustrated by:  J. Brian Pinkney
Published by: Scholastic, 1993

* We have read many books about Martin Luther King, Jr. at home and my children have heard many at school.  I think it's important for them to understand the significance of the holiday and realize that it's not just a day off from school.  It's hard for them being so young to understand that there was a time when children of color had to use a different water fountain and go to a different school. 

I found this book on a display at the library.  It caught my eye because it didn't look too difficult for my four year old to understand.  After reading this book I did think it was perfect for my son.  It's written in very easy to understand language.  It doesn't give many facts or details but does give a nice overview of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. The author, in her foreword, mentions that, "if you feel the words "shot and killed" are inappropriate for the child or children you plan to read this book to, you many want to change the words and say simply that Martin Luther King "died" in 1968.  I felt that my four year old son could handle hearing that MLK Jr. was "shot and killed" but some young children may not be able to. My daughter told me that she didn't really like it but I think it's because she already knew everything that the book mentioned. 

The illustrations are done in what looks like scratch art.  Overall, I think that this is a good introduction for young children to Martin Luther King.

This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating:  1 1/2 thumbs up.

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