June 23, 2018

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Stories for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day | SLJ DVD Review

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redstarStories for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 30 min. Weston Woods. 2017. $59.95. ISBN 9781338091151. POP

K-Gr 5 –This DVD contains two picture book adaptations that highlight the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. to the civil rights movement: March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World by Dr. Christine King Farris and Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, with art by Bryan Collier. The first is fervently and emotionally narrated by Lynn Whitfield and is told in the first person by King’s sister. While there is some information on other aspects of the activist’s life, the focus here is the March on Washington, those who attended, and the “I Have a Dream” speech. Some of London Ladd’s illustrations are scanned, and historical black-and-white artwork has been included. Mahalia Jackson’s voice soars with the music of the time. In the second segment, Collier’s exquisite watercolor and cut-paper collage art beautifully augment the story of King’s life and his role in changing our nation, as Michael Clarke Duncan’s deep rich voice narrates. Background music is made up of mostly singing, emphasizing the fact that King’s mission was all about people. Included, as a bonus, is an interview with Farris, who provides further information about her brother and the civil rights movement. VERDICT This is an exceptional DVD that would be a valuable addition to school collections year-round.–Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA

This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2018 issue.

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