Be A King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by James Ransome

Published by Bloomsbury

Summary:  “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve….You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”  Martin Luther King Jr.’s words speak to children in this book showing how anyone can “be a King.”  Illustrations portraying scenes from King’s life are interspersed with others in a different style showing kids working together to paint an MLK mural.  Ideas for how to be a King include standing for peace, having a dream, and doing your very best at whatever you do.  The last page shows the kids gathered around the mural with the advice, “You can be a King.  Set your sights on the mountaintop.  Climb a little higher every day.”  An author’s note gives biographical information.  40 pages; ages 4-9.

Pros:  I liked how this book connected the sometimes abstract concepts of King’s work and speeches with concrete actions that kids can take to make the world a better place.  This would be an excellent book to use in conjunction with the day of service aspect of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  There is a lot to look at in the illustrations, with two stories interwoven.

Cons:  Having biographical information on the pages with the pictures of King–even just a sentence or two–would have made this even more useful in helping kids understand his life.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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