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Picture Books About Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for Young Children

Six wonderful titles to read with your children to teach them about Dr. King and why we celebrate his birthday every year.
on January 16, 2014
 

Teaching very young children about American history can be a challenge, but it's a cinch when you have a good book about an amazing American. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is coming up, and even if your child is a preschooler, there are many books you can use to share about this leader's life and legacy.

These six picture books present Dr. King not only as a civil rights leader but also as a brother, father, and great American who dared to change his country for the better, all in age-appropriate ways for children 3 and up.


1. My First Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer is a good introduction to Dr. King and his life's work, and it provides great context about the times he lived in.


2. March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World by Christine King Farris.
This book looks at how Dr. King prepared for his famous speech and the March on Washington.


3. My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris.
This is one of my favorite books, period. Looking at Dr. King as a child allows young children to relate to him and his message even more.


4. My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  by Martin Luther King, III.
This book has a wonderful perspective of Dr. King for young kids, through the eyes of his son. Children can relate to his story -- both the triumphs and the tragedies -- through the experiences of his children.


5. The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Johnny Ray Moore.
This has been my go-to book for teaching 3- to 4-year-olds about Dr. King for years. Both of my children were introduced to him with this board book, and I can't recommend it enough.


6. Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport.
This is beautifully abrupt at times, but its magic is in the stunning illustrations by Brian Collier. They teach as much as the text does.

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