I Have a Dream

(2012)
I Have a Dream

On August 28, 1963, almost 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his powerful and iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.  The “Dream” portion of the stirring speech provides the narrative for this picture book, illustrated with inspired and inspiring paintings by Caldecott Honor Award-winning artist Kadir Nelson.  Nelson includes portraits of Dr. King in the historic Washington setting; idyllic scenes depicting King’s dream of people of different races working, playing and living in harmony, equality and freedom; and a panorama of various mountainsides of the nation where that freedom might ring.  The complete speech is printed in the back of the book.  A bonus feature is a CD with an audio recording of the speech as Dr. King delivered it that day.  Although listening to the voice of this great American leader, and looking at the paintings inspired by him are each great in themselves, it’s wonderful to listen to King’s “Dream” words while reading the text and enjoying Nelson’s artwork all together.   Whether noting Dr. King’s birth month, the 150 anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (referenced by King in the speech), civil rights, or other topics of national importance; or looking for a good teaching tool for young readers, this book is a great choice.

Recommended for ages 5 and up.

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