Reviews for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Booklist Reviews 2011 February #1
The Holidays and Festivals series is not messing with its tried-and-true formula: large pictures on the top three-fourths of the page and a simple line or two of text below. But the mix of period photos (some black-and-white, some sepia-toned, some color) with contemporary shots keeps this title from succumbing to repetition fatigue. Pictures of segregation--in particular, a "For Colored Only" water fountain--still retain their power to shock and will compel children to ask questions. Rissman uses five very short chapters to take the youngest readers through some simple facts about slavery ("Black people in Atlanta could not go to the same places as white people") before touching on King's life ("He studied religion. He became a minister"). Few specifics are offered, but the pictured crowds say a mouthful. King's assassination is referred to vaguely along with a shot of mourners. The final pages insist that celebrating the holiday involves doing service for the community, which may not square with children's experience, but this is nonetheless a fine introduction. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.