Reviews for I Have a Dream : Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Booklist Reviews 2012 September #1
A great way to introduce young readers to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic 1963 address, this large, square picture book presents the speech with long excerpts and full-page, glowing unframed oil portraits of King, as well as paintings of the thousands who came to hear him at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. Then there are images that expand on his stirring message, including a painting of a black teen and a white teen face-to-face, equal and connected, which accompanies the words "the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood"; a large close-up of a black hand and a white hand clasped together; a view of children of many races singing "let freedom ring"; and spreads showing mountain landscapes across the country. The full text of the speech is appended, and there is also a CD of King's address for those, including teens and adults, who want to revisit that momentous event, and not just on the third Monday in January. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A new book from Nelson is always a publishing event, and his many fans, young and old, will be waiting for this. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
In superlative oil paintings, Nelson brings to life this famous speech. He begins with Dr. King at the Lincoln Memorial addressing the crowd; literal illustrations of his words (e.g., his "four little children") follow. Visually, this is a stunning accomplishment that embodies the thrilling inspiration of Dr. King's words. The complete text of the speech is appended; accompanying CD included.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #5
In superlative oil paintings, Nelson brings to life Dr. King's most famous speech, and the one children are most likely to know. Nelson has chosen to illustrate the section that specifically addresses the dream, beginning with the words "I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulty of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream." The accompanying illustration depicts Dr. King standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, addressing the crowd at the March on Washington. The pages that follow show scenes from the event as well as more literal illustrations of Dr. King's words: black children and white children playing together, a black hand clasping a white hand, and his own "four little children." When we reach the climactic "Let freedom ring..." part of the speech, two gorgeous double-page spreads show interconnected panels of the "prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire" and the "snowcapped Rockies of Colorado," ultimately linked with "every hill and molehill of Mississippi," in a sweeping vista. At the end, we return to a larger-than-life close-up of Dr. King's impassioned face, the hopeful faces of the audience, and finally white doves flying against a blue sky, representing the words "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" The complete text of the speech is printed at the back of the book, and an accompanying CD is also included [unseen]. Visually, this is a stunning accomplishment that embodies the thrilling inspiration of Dr. King's words as he first spoke them. kathleen t. horning

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 May #2
An award-winning artist captures the passion and purpose of this most notable 20th-century American speech in beautifully realized oil paintings. Nelson begins with the concluding paragraphs spoken on August 28th, 1963, with the Lincoln Memorial standing vigil over the massed assemblage. Dr. King's opening paragraphs, with their urgent and specific references to America's broken promises, slavery, discrimination and injustice, along with an acknowledgement of a "marvelous new militancy" are not often quoted; they are specific to the time. The words of his "dream," in contrast, are universal, timeless and still needed. Dr. King evoked Scripture, an American hymn and an African-American spiritual in his sermon. Nelson mirrors that religiosity in his paneled montage of American mountains rising high from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Mississippi and California. His stately portraits of adults and children stand out against white and blue backgrounds as they march, listen and hold hands. A glorious double-spread likeness of Dr. King against a black background imparts both majesty and sorrow. And how perfect that white doves, symbols of hope and faith, soar at the conclusion. The entire speech is reproduced in print and on a CD (not heard). A title for remembrance and for re-dedication to the dream, published in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. (Informational picture book. 5 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
An award-winning artist captures the passion and purpose of this most notable 20th-century American speech in beautifully realized oil paintings. Nelson begins with the concluding paragraphs spoken on August 28th, 1963, with the Lincoln Memorial standing vigil over the massed assemblage. Dr. King's opening paragraphs, with their urgent and specific references to America's broken promises, slavery, discrimination and injustice, along with an acknowledgement of a "marvelous new militancy" are not often quoted; they are specific to the time. The words of his "dream," in contrast, are universal, timeless and still needed. Dr. King evoked Scripture, an American hymn and an African-American spiritual in his sermon. Nelson mirrors that religiosity in his paneled montage of American mountains rising high from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Mississippi and California. His stately portraits of adults and children stand out against white and blue backgrounds as they march, listen and hold hands. A glorious double-spread likeness of Dr. King against a black background imparts both majesty and sorrow. And how perfect that white doves, symbols of hope and faith, soar at the conclusion. The entire speech is reproduced in print and on a CD (not heard). A title for remembrance and for re-dedication to the dream, published in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. (Informational picture book. 5 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #4

There's something exhilarating about viewing Nelson's (Heart and Soul) paintings of Dr. King and the March on Washington while reading the words of the speech King gave that day; it's hard to imagine a better representation of their historical significance. Nelson pictures King in front of a forest of microphones, his brow furrowed with concentration. "I have a dream today," he repeats as Nelson shows him in sharp profile--it almost seems possible to feel the warmth of his breath. "With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together," he continues, accompanied by a painting of two clasped hands, black and white. Though it's a clichéd image, Nelson's up-close rendering of the hands gives the picture startling freshness. American landscapes glow, and schoolchildren of every color look viewers in the eye, full of confidence. The speech is lightly edited in a way that makes it understandable for children of any age; a CD of the speech is enclosed. A glorious interpretation of a bedrock moment in 20th-century history. All ages. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 November

Gr 2 Up--This splendidly illustrated tribute comes in time to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of Dr. King's historic speech given on August 28, 1963. The full text is appended, though Nelson has chosen to illustrate just the latter portion, beginning with the words, "I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream." The luminous oil paintings employ a variety of techniques-scenes at the Lincoln Memorial have a sweeping impressionistic quality while other spreads employ the artist's signature photorealistic style. From the wraparound jacket featuring a powerful image of Dr. King, Nelson makes good use of the large, square trim size and generous design appropriate to illustrate such a significant moment in the Civil Rights Movement. While putting his own interpretative spin on the iconic words, he remains sensitive to King's intent; for example, several paintings focus on King's hope that all people will someday live in harmony-a theme that runs through the oration. The layout matches the tempo of the words with dramatic spreads resounding with the refrain "I have a dream," and the "Let freedom ring" chorus scenes unfold as a creative series of geographic panels. Even after 50 years, this seminal address still has the power to move listeners, and this handsome illustrated version will be welcomed in all collections. Includes a CD of Dr. King's original speech.--Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT

[Page 90]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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