I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King9780375858871_p0_v1_s260x420I Have A Dream

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kadir Nelson, illustrator

Schwartz & Wade Books, Oct. 2012

Suitable for Ages: 5-10

Themes:  Dr. Martin Luther King, African-Americans, Civil Rights, Freedom, Diversity

Opening/Synopsis:  “I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.  It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.  I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Book CoverFrom Dr. Bernice A. King:  “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us — those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”

Why I like this book:  Artist Kadir Nelson has taken one of the most powerful and inspirational speeches in history, and created a  beautifully illustrated book set to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech delivered on Aug. 28, 1963.   Nelson’s oil paintings are masterpieces  and a feast for the eyes and soul.  I was mesmerized by the strength and power in each painting.  Now a new generation of children will have the opportunity to learn about this great civil rights leader.

Resources:  There is a CD that accompanies this book.  The entire speech is printed at the end of the book.  With the inauguration of President Barak Obama, our first African-American President,  falling on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Day, it is right to combine the two.  In honor of both, tomorrow, January 19, has been named a National Day of Service, and Americans are being urged to get involved in a local community service project.   Just check on the website for information

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

53 thoughts on “I Have a Dream

    • Joanna yes, it all worked out well. Pefect timing with the 2nd inaugeration for President Obama, and First Daughter Chelsea Clinton heading up the first National Day of Service in memory of Martin Luther King. You would love the illustrations.


    • Michelle, he was amazing. You are right, he reminds you of Frederick Douglass. Your eyes would pop over the paintings. I loved they included the entire speech at the end and a CD of MLK delivering it.


  1. I have an African-American book up, too, for PPBF today. Seems like great minds work together or something like that. I’ll check out this book. Seems special with the speech told at the end and a CD also.

    Thanks for adding this book, Patricia. 🙂


    • Clar, yes, I read your review before I responded to my comments. So happy you focused on an African-American book too. You will also love the paintings. What a memorable holiday weekend this will be.


      • Are you going to be watching it on TV? I have a son with Fiance living on Capital Hill. Wonder how they are going to celebrate? Will definitely get in touch with them. 🙂


      • Yes, I’ll be watching it on TV. It would be an exciting time to be there. My husband did a lot of volunteer work and was invited to attend a party, but it’s just too far and cold.


  2. I, just like countless millions, have tremendous admiration for the late Dr. King. The similarities between Obama and King are striking, and I love them both. Thank you for including this tribute for Civil Rights weekend.


    • Michael, I bought this book when it was released in October. The late Dr. King was such an inspiration. I agree, I see similarities between Obama and King. And, I thought it was appropriate of the president to invite former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton to chair the National Day of Serivce in memory of Dr. King. People everywhere can volunteer somewhere.


  3. I remember when Martin Luther King made that speech. I remember, young as I was, being mesmerized by the sentiment and ideal. I loved him then and there. I never stopped loving what he stood for. I believe in it still. What a wonderful idea and gift to re-tell his story in art. I must look for this book.


    • Niamh, we both were old enough to remember the speech. Now another generation of children will benefit from this breathtaking picture book with Nelson’s paintings and hear the speech on the CD. Should be a classic in the classrooms.


    • Margot, thank you! That is so generous of you. This book stands out as one to be owned. Two books impacted me that way this year — the other was Helen’s Big World. Both books are about inspirational individuals who are larger than life. And new generations of children will have the joy of reading such magnificent books.


  4. If it were in my power, I would put a copy of Just Shades of Brown (ISBN: 9780910941358) into the hands of every child in every school in America, not just to facilitate greater understanding and friendship among children of different racial and ethnic and other socioeconomic backgrounds, but to encourage dialog among parents and other adults with whom children share the book on the home front. Just Shades of Brown also carries with it an advantageous literacy dimension: reading with purpose and meaning and real-world ramifications is always more conducive to encouraging lifelong literacy than reading pap. It is not that Just Shades of Brown is a panacea for curing racism; what it does is open doors and minds with the ideas presented in the book as a starting point for the sharing and healing that follows. As I have shared with community and education leaders, the book and lesson plans the author provides are perfectly in line with research and national articles encouraging this approach. (Anyone who wants information can contact me at jgcmail@sbcglobal.net.) The difference between combatting racism with an adult-targeted-program-only approach and the power of the broad and deep and sustained approach I cite is like the difference between watering your yard by standing in one spot with a hose and watering your yard by installing a sprinkler system. The latter does the job more quickly, more thoroughly, more consistently, and in a more easily sustained manner. Cities across America are striving to help and heal everyone afflicted with racism. Perhaps best of all, Just Shades of Brown nips racism in the bud, before it takes root in young minds, as well as helping purge it from the minds of adults who share the story with children. Here’s a quote from the author, a Janesville, WI, teacher who teaches art in the Rockford, IL, school district: “I saw the need for a book to help people come together. Other literature celebrates our ethnic and cultural differences, but I believe we also need to celebrate what we have in common. I want children and adults to realize that we are more alike than different and that they could be missing out on wonderful friendships. In other words, don’t judge a book by its cover. At the same time, because this age of mobility means many children move from one school to another, Just Shades of Brown helps children see how it feels to be the new kid in class. I want to encourage students to be more welcoming and to remind newcomers they are not alone in what they are experiencing. It’s a simple, straightforward story that celebrates friendship, no matter what your background is. People are the same everywhere.” I have seen the effect of the book and I have seen the author (Lana Duncan Hartgraves) doing programs with children, parents, and teachers. Her enthusiasm is contagious. — John Gile


    • John, thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a passionate comment. Shades of Brown sounds like an excellent book. I found it on Amazon and will try to get a copy. Was surprised it was a picture book, as I thought it might be for YA. But you say it is a real starting point for parents, children, teachers and community to open a dialogue that will lead to healing of racism in our country — and as we now racism takes so many forms. I like your comment that Shades of Brown “nips racism in the bud, before it takes root in young minds, as well as helping purge it from the minds of adults who share the story with children.” There are no reviews by readers. You are very articulate, you shold review the book on Amazon and B&N etc. Again, I appreciate your comments.


  5. That Kadir Nelson has some serious skills! Love all his books! I just came from a first grade classroom with lots of books on a display shelf about MLKJr, including another by Nelson: Coretta Scott. Great pick Patricia!


  6. Thank you, Pat. As classroom teachers we are always looking for fresh books on history. I am going to have to get this one for our recap of the MLK Jr on Tuesday.


  7. Pingback: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with Books, Cooks and a Song « Positive Parental Participation

  8. Pingback: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King with Music and More « Positive Parental Participation

  9. What a wonderful book for children. I remember reading a book about Helen Keller when I was very young and it stuck with me forever. Children need heros like Dr. King more than ever.


    • Darlene I appreciate your posting on twitter. This book is stunning. Funny you mention Helen Keller, because I reviewed a few months ago a book as large as this one on “Helen’s Big World.” Different artists, but they are my favorites this year.


  10. This is great, Pat. I had to share of course, since not only is this a very important speech to introduce to our young generation, but I’m a big fan of Kadir Nelson’s art and historical novels. He’s so impressive. I’m delighted you find his work beautiful, too! Enjoy the Inaugural Events! Best wishes for 2013!


    • Penny, it was a very beautiful and lyrical book. You would love Nelson’s illustrations. They belong in a museum. Great classroom book too — especially with Black History month around the corner.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s