Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
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Jan 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens, biography, history, non-fiction, picture-books, groups-buddies, reviewed
Recommended for: for learning about nonviolent activism, MLK, Jr., civil rights history, etc.
Read on February 04, 2011

Oh, I had trepidation about reading this book because of some comments made over at the Children's Books group. (This book is one of six books selected for February’s Picture Books Club; the month’s theme is Black History Month.) It just goes to show that we’re all going to have different reactions to the same book.

I need not have worried. I thought this was a nearly perfect book for its aim; I think.

Outstanding illustrations done in collage, a form I admire and enjoy.

The book covers Martin Luther King Jr.'s life from his boyhood to his assassination. It shows some of what shaped his formative years and how central he was in the fight for civil rights. Yet, it’s told in a cogent way and in a manner appropriate for children. There are short lines about different parts of his life and these are interspersed with some of his famous quotes. There is an important dates list and list of books and web sites in the back of the book and author’s and illustrator’s notes in the front of the book.

The whole recurring mention in this book of Martin’s big words, and big deeds, is very inspiring.

What seemed incredibly peculiar to me is that the title/subtitle (Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.) appears on the book’s title page, and the title alone (Martin’s Big Words) does appear on the book’s spine, but inexplicably neither show on the book’s cover. My hardcover edition shows 3 award badges but other than that shows only a large illustration of King’s face. The back cover of the book does have the full title and names of the author and illustrator, but I didn’t immediately see that. I guess they (publisher? book’s creators?) wanted his face to jump out at those who picked up the book, but I’d have preferred the typical information given on the front cover.
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05/22/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Lisa Vegan I keep changing my rating: 5 4 5 4 5 4 5

I want 1/2 stars!!!

Normally I'd say 4-1/2 stars in my review but not able to access this from a computer and my phone is not cooperating.


Ronyell Awesome review Lisa!! I want a .5 star rating too! It would help make it easier to let everyone know what we really thought about these books.


Lisa Vegan Ronyell wrote: "Awesome review Lisa!! I want a .5 star rating too! It would help make it easier to let everyone know what we really thought about these books."

Ronyell, As I think you know a good half of us have been begging for 1/2 stars over at the Feedback group. Unfortunately, almost that many don't want them. And, I know it would apparently be hard to program, and it doesn't look at though Goodreads staff is that interested. They've been saying no for now for a few years. If they'd implemented half stars a few years ago we'd all have fewer books to change, or none for those who would have joined after half stars were in place. Now, for those of us who've been around for a while, if we wanted to go back and re-rate, there are more & more & more books every day. Ah well.


Ronyell Oh yeah, there were many books that I actually gave half star ratings to, but at least we tried to grab the Goodreads staff's attention about this matter.


Lisa Vegan Ronyell wrote: "Oh yeah, there were many books that I actually gave half star ratings to, but at least we tried to grab the Goodreads staff's attention about this matter."

:-D


Kathryn As an aspiring author myself, I agree that the author's name should have been on the cover (and illustrator's, too). Perhaps they wanted the focus to be on MLK and the fact that the book does use his own quotes so he is, in part, the "author" too but, I do agree with you!


Lisa Vegan The picture of MLK would have been just as compelling with the names. Yep! Kathryn, I never thought I'd have reason to give this advise, but now I'll advise you to insist your name be on the front cover of ALL your books!!! ;-)


Kathryn Haha, thank you! ;-)


message 9: by Crystal (last edited Feb 09, 2011 07:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Crystal Marcos I agree, I don't think it would have taken away from the illustration of King's face if small word were printed at the bottom.


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