I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., paintings by Kadir Nelson (Schwartz & Wade)
Most children know the holiday dedicated to the civil rights movement leader, and for those who aren’t familiar with the 1963 speech that makes up the text for this big, colorful book, this will be a wonderful introduction. The paintings not only keep to the tone of hope and dignity in the speech, but amplify it. The book begins with the Lincoln Memorial setting, first seen as if from above, then in a close-up of Dr. King with a shadowed Lincoln statue behind him. Then, again, we get a long view, with the placards listeners hold catching the light, looking almost like lanterns under a big pale sky. The dream gets illustrated movingly, and we see the beautiful and varied hills and mountains that Dr. King mentions in his “let freedom ring” refrain. White doves under a blue sky end the book, along with the complete text of the speech. The book includes a CD of the speech, too, one which is worth listening to again and again.