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Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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4.44  ·  Rating details ·  10,112 ratings  ·  1,168 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Acclaimed author Doreen Rappaport and Coretta Scott King Award winner Bryan Collier, who previously collaborated on Freedom River , have pooled their talents yet again in a stunning tribute to civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. An extraordinary picture-book biography, Martin's Big Words consists of Rappaport's own words interwove
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Jump At The Sun
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Sarah B. The genre would be Biography
Matthew Martin Luther King Jr. was shot in Memphis, TN in 1968. King's death came at a time when racial tension between African Americans and White…moreMartin Luther King Jr. was shot in Memphis, TN in 1968. King's death came at a time when racial tension between African Americans and White Southerners were at an all-time high. MLK Jr. was in Memphis to help the sanitation workers with their strike. This would have cost people a lot of money, so killing him was their way of protecting their pocketbooks as well as try to keep equality at bay. Luckily, the racists and bigots lost. MLK Jr. may have been assassinated, but his message lives on. (less)

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4.44  · 
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 ·  10,112 ratings  ·  1,168 reviews


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David Schaafsma
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: auto-bio-memoir
"Sooner or later, all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace."

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr., written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier, who previously collaborated on Freedom River, is part of the Big Words series of picture books by Doreen Rappaport. Think you have read more than enough about Dr. King? Well, this book stands out among the hundreds written: Recipient of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award, Cald
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Calista
This is a great book for young kids to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr. Bryan Collier's art is interesting. He talks about trying to make it look like stained glass windows. I think it works here.

The book lets children into his world. The kids were drawn into this book. They couldn't believe he was shot. That brought up a lot of questions. This book handles it well, it is very simply told and it says simply "he died."

This book won the Caldecott for 2002 and I feel they made a good decision th
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Ronyell
When I was a child, I always wanted to learn more about the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while at the same time, I wanted to see a picture book for children that details Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s life in an uplifting way. Well, I just found such a picture book detailing Martin Luther King Junior’s life and it is called “Martin’s Big Words.” “Martin’s Big Words” is written by Doreen Rappaport along with illustrations by Bryan Collier and has won many awards including the Cal ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: for learning about nonviolent activism, MLK, Jr., civil rights history, etc.
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 Luth
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Kathryn
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I found this introductory biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be both beautiful, inspiring... and a little frustrating.

On the one hand, I loved how the author incorporated MLK's "big words" into the story--most pages including actual quotes; but at the same time sometimes it felt a bit disjointed narrative-wise. Also, the narrative is so sparse that it lacks depth and I felt some key aspects of MLK's life were not explored sufficiently, even for a picture book. And I appreciate the fact
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Mariah Roze
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I listened to this on overdrive and it was only about 15 minutes long, but the information that was shared was really nice. I enjoyed listening to this short story :)
Manybooks
While I have in many ways very much appreciated author Doreen Rappaport's narrative (her own printed words about Martin Luther King Junior's big and yes oh so massively important and powerful utterances), I have also and personally always felt more than a bit uncomfortable with some of the textual (the authorial) assertions of Martin's Big Words (well actually more with what has been seemingly rather willfully ignored by Ms. Rappaport). For it is more than well known that Martin Luther King Juni ...more
Julie
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, it's the perfect day to promote this meaningful and beautifully illustrated children's book. And, since we're just a few days out from Inauguration Day here in the U.S., I will use some of Martin's words in an attempt to inspire myself and whoever else is reading:

"Sooner or later, all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace."

Amen.

But, if we keep killing the most enlightened and inspired people amongst us, how will we ever do it?
Crystal Marcos
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it
I always appreciate added information in books. So, I found it wonderful to have important dates highlighted and additional MLK information added at the end of the book. After I read the book, I went back and read the author’s and Illustrator’s notes. It was interesting to find out their thoughts on how they approached creating this book. I did like the artwork although a tad on the dark side. I think Martin’s life would have been better depicted in light rather than dark, because he brought so ...more
Dora
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr., recipient of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award, Caldecott Honor, and Coretta Scott King Honor, provides a balance between a retell of history and excerpts from his impacting speeches. The illustrations contain artistic medias of realistic paintings and collage, that gives the reader more insight on how powerful Martin's words were in piecing together the society that once existed. A must have to read aloud for elementary and secondary ...more
Mary Ann
This wonderful biography is an homage in words and pictures. Rappaport weaves together King’s own words with her brief text sharing King’s all-too-short life. As a young boy, Martin knew that he wanted to inspire others using “big words.” Collier’s watercolor and collage illustrations express King’s joy in life, solemn sense of purpose, and passionate beliefs.
Dolly
Jan 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This book is part of the Big Words series of picture books by Doreen Rappaport.

Of the three books that we read this year about Martin Luther King, Jr. in honor of his birthday, this one was by far my favorite. I have to echo the comments made by one reviewer that all the books seem to be written with the same script; but this one is just different enough to pique my interest.

The illustrations are wonderful and I love the way his words echo throughout the book. I felt his conviction and his hope
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MissDziura
Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an excellent picture book for students of all ages, even though the book is intended for grades 1-3. I gave this book four stars (reallly liked it) mainly because of the unique format of the book. As opposed to just "telling" the story of Dr. King's life, Rappaport starts the story with Martin encountering the hurtful words WHITE ONLY and his mother's subsequent explanation that he is was "as good as anyone." The story of his life con ...more
Ch_amyM
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Martin's Big Words was written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier. Published in 2001 by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Childre, it was a Cadecott Honor Book (2002), a Coretta Scott King Award Honor book (2002), and The New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book for 2001. The illustrations in this book are amazing starting with the stain glass windows on the opening pages that reminds one of the Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King's roots. The text is also used ...more
L-Crystal Wlodek
This picture book, recommended for readers 8-10 years of age and has received the Coretta Scott King Award, Caldecott Honor (2002), New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (2001). This is a book that tells the story of MLK’s life and times. This narrative tells of MLK’s life and the Civil Rights Movement by weaving together the authors words and actual words spoken by MLK.

This book describes the Civil Rights Movement, inequality, and the life of MLK in a captivating and emotional way.
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A_Jenny
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this book as I read along was very moving. This Coretta Scott King Award, Caldecott Honor (2002), New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books (2001) would be a great picture book to use during February as we celebrate African Heritage Month by using the words of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech carefully chosen illustrations captivating the reader of the inequalities of the life of most African Americans during the acidic Rights Movement and how the words of one ma ...more
Malbadeen
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been in education for 15 years, this is my first year as a principal. for the past 6 years I didn't have my own classroom or group of kids that I worked directly with.
I am soooooo excited to be with kids again! In the first week or so of school, I'll be going to each class and reading a book, and leaving it with the class. I got this one for the 5th graders, because it's beautiful and honors the intellectual capacity of this group of kids while tapping into their inate sense of justice.
A
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J-Lynn Van Pelt
I love this book! In the dozens of picture books about Martin Luther King Jr., this one stands out. I love the underlying message of the power of words, and the simplicity of the text underscores Martin’s message. The pictures, mixing collage and watercolor, add deeper layers to the story. The full page picture of the young African American girl in front of the American flag is at once inspiring and haunting. Both the author and the illustrator add a message at the beginning of the book explaini ...more
Annie ⚜️
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I asked my son if he knew why he was off school this Monday. He did not. I asked him if he had learned about Martin Luther King in school. He said he had not. Now, maybe they did and he daydreamed through it or they'll cover it tomorrow but I was having none of that and hustled over to the library where they had a basket full of kids books on MLK and the librarian helped me pick the most perfect picture book for my 7 year old.

This is a brief history of the highlights of Dr. King's life along wit
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Baby Bookworm
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews
https://thebabybookwormblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/martins-big-words-the-life-of-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-doreen-rappaport/

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello everyone! It’s Friday, so we are continuing our Black History Month series with today’s book, Martin’s Big Words: The Life Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier.

This picture book biography of Dr. King uses the theme of his “big words,” i.e. his powerful writings and orations, to trace his story; from his roots as a pastor’s son growin
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Laura Rumohr
Sep 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Martin's Big Words was written for children in the primary grades. This story is about the life of Martin Luther King Junior. MLK's quotes are woven throughout the words of the entire text. It begins when Martin is a young boy and continues through his death. When he was a child he recognized racism in the community and wanted to make a difference. When he grew up he became a minister and learned that hate could be overcome with love. Over the years he worked with city leaders to improve the rig ...more
(NS) Panagiota Angelos
DVD- Non-print
Martin’s Big Words DVD features the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The video begins with moving gospel music in the background, which plays throughout video. The narrator has a deep captivating voice and takes the viewer through the life of Martin Luther King. The story begins when Martin is a young boy and his view of the world. He questions and is very observant on how people are treated. The video continues focusing on his life events that lead up until his death. He was sh
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Sarah Mcauliffe
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
"Martin's Big Words" focuses on just that, the big words he used to change inequalities in the south, and improve the lives of all Americans. The pictures look like they are out of a magazine and look three-dimensional. The layout of each page gives equal emphasis to his words and the pictures. On almost every page is a quote taken directly from Martin. This book discusses Martin's role in the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. This lets younger readers see his connection to Rosa Parks and helps build ...more
Katina
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book on BookFlix. The website enables the story to come to life. The author tells the life story of Martin Luther King. "Everywhere in Martin's hometown, he saw the signs, WHITE ONLY. His mother told him: "You are as good as anyone." Martin used his words to create equality for all Americans. He talked to people for over ten years about justice before he gave his famous speech, "I have a Dream." His words will never be forgotten. I would read this book or show this book to students i ...more
Luann
The illustrations for this are quite unique - a mixture of collage and watercolor. I would love to see how Bryan Collier creates his art. I thought the text was just okay, although I did like the use of so many quotes from Martin Luther King. I also find it curious that they didn't include the book's title on the front cover.
ABC
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: younger-kids
This is a good introductory book about Martin Luther King Jr. My son did not really like the pictures, though.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Rappaport, Doreen. (2001). Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. B. Collier. New York: Scholastic, Inc.

Literary Genre: Biography (Picture Book)

“When I grow up, I’m going to get big words, too.” Martin did grow up to just this. He was a minister, just like his father and used big words to preach. Martin said “together” when others were saying “separate”. Martin walked, talked, and sang with others as they protested for equal rights. When black Americans were beaten and murde
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SamZ
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
2002 Caldecott Honor - Favorite Illustration: The page that talks about King winning the Nobel Peace prize with the little girl in front of the American Flag.
I love the way this book focuses on the words and teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and tells about the way he encouraged people to fight by marching, talking, and praying rather than by fighting, looting, and hurting. I also loved reading this book with my daughter on Human Rights Day and talking with her about the life of this great le
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Katie Fitzgerald
This book tells the story of Martin Luther King, Jr's entire life, from childhood in the Jim Crow South, through his work as a civil rights leader, until his death. In addition to the gorgeous, practically life-like paintings of King and his family members and colleagues, what I like about this book is how simply the facts are laid out, so that even small kids learning of Dr. King for the first time can understand and appreciate them. The size of this book is also just perfect for sharing with l ...more
(NS) Becca
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
To begin, the pictures in this book are breathtaking. The illustrator uses collage and mixed media to convey the wonderfully inspiring story of a young Martin Luther King, Jr. The words make a statement aside from the pictures, pointedly addressing the issue that MLK, JR. lives on through his powerful words, "I have a dream..." The story walks the reader through the life of MLK, Jr. and the people who pushed him to live for his dreams despite all the anger in the world. Any child who reads this ...more
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Doreen Rappaport has written many books of fiction and nonfiction for young readers, specializing in thoroughly researched multicultural history, historical fiction, retellings of folktales and myths, and stories of those she calls the "not-yet-celebrated." Among her recent books is Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Bryan Collier, which received a Caldecot ...more