April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pick of the Day: Nelson Mandela | DVD

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Nelson Mandela. DVD. 10 min. Weston Woods. 2013. ISBN 978-0-545-60947-0. $59.95; CD, ISBN 978-0-545-60948-7: $12.95; CD with hardcover book, ISBN 978-0-545-60949-4: $29.95.
Gr 1–4–Kadir Nelson’s evocative biography (HarperCollins, 2013) of Nelson Mandela receives stellar treatment in this exceptional DVD presentation. The author provides just enough information to introduce apartheid and Mandela’s role in changing the political landscape of South Africa, while involving, but not overwhelming, children. Viewers feel the loss of Mandela’s father and his sorrow as he leaves home to attend school. His rise as a political activist, the 27 years he spent in prison, and his eventual election to the leadership of his nation are all told clearly in crisp and expressive text. Throughout, Mandela is presented as a figure both heroic and human. This, too, is emphasized in Kadir Nelson’s exceptional paintings that glow with an inner warmth. The iconographic presentation allows the audience to truly appreciate both the careful details and the subtle power of the illustrations as actor Forest Whitaker’s rich voice reads the story with background music and crowd sound effects that draw viewers in. The DVD includes an interview with the author in which he talks about his artwork and relates his boyhood experience of attending a speech given by Mandela. This excellent presentation about an extraordinary world leader merits a place in all libraries serving children.–Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary,FederalWay,WA