A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr/ #PPBF

Hi Friends!

You’re going to wonder at my selection today. You are going to wonder why I didn’t save this book for Martin Luther King Day. It is because I discovered David A. Adler’s biography series and I think it is great! I just can’t help but add this book to the others I’ve reviewed for PPBF.

Anne Frank/ and Eleanor Roosevelt . And really it doesn’t have to be a certain day to be reminded of Dr King’s dream.

When I was looking through Amazon to capture the image of the book cover I noticed there was a more recent one by this same author, David Adler, published in 1990 with a more vivid image. See images.


My copy of the book

My copy of the book

More recent copy/ more vivid image

More recent copy/ more vivid image

Title: A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr

Author/ Illustrator : David A. Adler/ Robert Casilla

Publishing info : Holiday House – 1989 / for ages seven to eleven

Summary from publisher  : “A brief, illustrated, biography of the Baptist minister and civil rights leader whose philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience helped


More recent copy/ more vivid image

American blacks with many battles for equal rights.”

Themes : Biography of Famous Person/ African-American, nonfiction, Civil Rights, clergy

First Three Sentences : “Martin Luther KIng, Jr. was one of America’s great leaders. He was a powerful speaker, and  he spoke out against laws which  kept Black people out of many schools and jobs. He led protests and marches demanding fair laws for all people.”

Resources : To learn more about the Martin Luther King Jr. National Park for visitors go  here :

For teacher guides for students from kindergarten through eighth grade go here or visit the above site where this link was included :


For more teacher guides and lesson plans for students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

For online sites about Martin Luther King Jr. go here :

BrainPOP’s educational video for Dr. King is currently free. The website has related printable materials to go with the video. The related Lesson Ideas page includes lesson plans and graphic organizers.


Here you will find Black History :

There were many sites when I googled Martin Luther King, Jr. It was hard to pick some of the better sites. One easy lesson would be to hold your own discussion on race where African American students were free to say how the color of their skin has affected them or made them the way they are.

Why I love this book : “A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by  David A. Adler has a way to make conflict and drama in his biographies. Instead of saying Dr King was assassinated he says; “Another man, James Earl Ray, was hiding nearby. He pointed a rifle at Dr. King. He fired the gun. An hour later Dr. King was dead.” Notice the short sentences? they ratchet up the drama.

Adler also tells a little about Rosa Parks. How she was the real reason Dr. King started on his way to his dream. I also loved how Adler described race in this book. How as a child, Dr King played football and two white boys decided they couldn’t play with him anymore because they were white. That his mother explained about slavery and how some people just didn’t treat black people fairly.

All the violence and drama of the Civil Rights years are tamped down in this book, however. I guess making it more palatable for young readers. So really you have ask yourself, how much violence can be portrayed? I think it had the right amount. I Hope you get a copy of this book and read it.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend! See you on Tuesday!

So if you want to join other PPBF writers go look at Susanna Hill’s site for today and enjoy other reviews on her links. also you can click on Perfect Picture Books and find books categorized by theme or alphabetized. No matter which way you go it will be fun. For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.


My Books! in logo by Margot Finke.

My Books! in logo by Margot Finke.


You can buy Edmund here! on amazon!

And Annie here! on amazon!

About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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9 Responses to A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr/ #PPBF

  1. Any day is a good day to read about Martin Luther King Jr. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great pick. I like seeing the original book and the more recent copy. There are so many books about King, and each one has something different to feature. This sounds like a gem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Pat!

      Yes, there is always something else to learn and in a picture book the biography is brought down to bare bones with the essential parts in it. I love picture book biographies. 🙂


  3. What a difference a cover can make! People always say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I wonder what would happen if you took the old cover into a classroom and asked the kids what sort of story it was, and would they read it. And then took the new cover into a classroom and asked those same questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Sue!

      That is a very interesting and telling question. I love it. On my author visits I always start off asking about the books cover and what the students can tell from it. 🙂


  4. Joanne Sher says:

    This sounds great – thanks for the recommendation. MLK is so very inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great choice Clar. Always interesting reading about MLK. Thank you.


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