Our 6 Favorite Children’s Books About MLK

Weekly Trip to the Library

On Monday Americans honor the great civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States holiday marking the birth date of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King’s birthday, January 15.

Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights nonviolent activism movement of the 1960’s. At the age of 35, Martin Luther King Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of over $54,000 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement. He was assassinated in April 4, 1968.

Here are some books to use with children to learn more about the nonviolent civil activist:

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By Doreen Rappaport

This picture-book introduces Martin Luther King Jr. to young children. It uses quotes from King’s writing and speeches from King’s life, beginning with his childhood experience of seeing “White Only” signs sprinkled throughout his hometown. He questions his mother about their meaning, and she assures him, “You are as good as anyone.” Listening to his father preach, the boy asserts that “When I grow up, I’m going to get big words, too.”

The author also discusses King’s role in the Montgomery bus strike that followed Rosa Park’s 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger and his subsequent efforts as a civil rights crusader. After briefly describing the circumstances of his death, the story concludes, quite abruptly, with the statement, “His big words are alive for us today.”

The author relies on Martin Luther King’s own words to show his power, passion, and pacifism. Watercolor and cut paper collage art feature closely focused, lifelike images of King and other individuals against an inventive montage of patterns and textures. The portraits of the civil rights activist exude his spiritual strength and peaceful visage.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Apostle of Militant Nonviolence By James A. Colaiaco

This short book for older children discusses all the main issues and themes of the life of King. The author traces the course of events from the emergence of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a national black spokesman during the Montgomery bus boycott to his radical critique of American society and foreign policy during the last years of his life. He also provides the first in-depth analysis of King’s famous Letter from Birmingham Jail – a manifesto of the American civil rights movement and an eloquent defence of non-violent protest.

A Kid’s Guide to African American History: More than 70 Activities (A Kid’s Guide series)By Nancy I. Sanders
Reveiw by Carolyn Phelan

This large-format paperback introduces many aspects of African American history, from Africa to colonial America, from plantations, to emancipation. There is also information about the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, the achievements of black Americans, the civil rights movement, and hopes for the future. Throughout the book, crafts and other projects offer nannies, parents, and teachers practical ways to involve children in African American heritage.

Included are activities such as making a bead necklace, constructing a star-watching chart, and various recipes and crafts that revolve around the symbols of Kwanzaa. The pages are well designed, with illustrations in shades of gray and plenty of white space.

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. By David Adler

This picture-book is a great way introduce the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. to young children ages about 4 to 9. It highlights King’s life including his childhood and family. Children will immediately relate to his painful early experiences of racism and understand the genesis of his lifelong struggle for racial equality. The book portrays the hatred King endured, the horror of his assassination, and the intense power of his message.

As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March toward Freedom By Richard Michelson

I love this book. It compares Martin Luther King, Jr. and the German-born rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and what led them to walk together in the famous 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Both men were raised by wise, loving parents and followed in their fathers’ footsteps. Both of them also experienced hatred and prejudice close to home. Whether the signs said “Whites Only” or “No Jews Allowed,” they were equally hurtful and inspired them to strive for peace and equal rights for all.

March: Book One By John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon. He is one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

There are sequels to this book because John Lewis still fights for justice today. So be sure to also read March: Book Two and March: Book Three as well.

Click on the titles of the books above to purchase your own copy of the books we have reviewed.

Books for Kids and Nannies About New Year’s Resolutions

How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

At some time in your life, you’ve undoubtedly made a New Year’s Resolution and broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make a change, but not following through. You can also teach the kids about New Year’s Resolutions by reading the following children’s books about the topic.

aaaSquirrel’s New Year’s Resolution

In this picture book Squirrel hopes to ring in the New Year with style. As librarian Bear explains, “When we begin a new year, we make a fresh start.” From soothing sick Skunk to teaching Porcupine comedy, Squirrel helps her fellow woodland animals master their own resolutions. Unfortunately for the well-meaning rodent, Squirrel struggles to find a resolution to claim as her very own. She might not know what it is, but everyone else does; as Rabbit tells her, “Your actions are better than words. It looks like you resolved to help someone every day.” The sugary-sweet conclusion provides little punch and begs the question, doesn’t resolve require some active thought? Ember’s illustrations allow the cuddly characters to pop against the bright acrylic spreads, and the woods (a classic diner perches in a tree, for instance) will appeal to the audience. Those searching for a spot of cheer in the gloomy cold months may find a serviceable holiday selection with Squirrel and her forest friends. Review by Kirkus Review.

aaaAmelia’s Must-Keep Resolutions for the Best Year Ever!

This book is the format of a journal or diary and is penned in a black and white composition notebook and is perfect for kids aged 9- to 12-years-old. The author, Marissa Moss, says that she loves this format that she stumbled upon because it allows her to explore the world through a child’s eyes. The notebook is full of New Year ideas and ways to make resolutions that will really stick. The book is only 40 pages so it’s a quick read. Middle-schooler Amelia has resolved to make resolutions that really stick this year! Follow Amelia as she perseveres in staying true to her goals such as making 6th grade less stressful, proving to her parents that she’s responsible enough to have a pet (preferably an iguana), and making the most of her vacations. With lively relatable text and fun cartoon illustrations, Amelia’s Must-Keep Resolutions for the Best Year Ever! is a great read for anyone struggling to craft a keepable New Years resolution!

Books for Adults About Making New Year’s Resolutions:

aaaThe Art of The Fresh Start: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions for a Lifetime

Most New Year’s resolutions, no matter how well-intented, are doomed to fail for one often overlooked reason: they are incongruent with our dreams and values. In The Art of the Fresh Start, Glenna Salsbury provides you with the tools to uncover the values that guide you, leading you to discover what you want to achieve and how to get there through internal motivation. This includes Book One: The Foundation for Your Fresh Start and Book Two: The “How” of Maintaining Your Fresh Start.

aaaThis Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True
This book takes you through the adventure of living your dreams by first showing you how to prepare for change, then by showing you how to get into action, how to keep going and also includes twelve tips for keeping your promise to yourself about your intentions. Ryan tackles the obstacles that keep readers from their goals and provides helpful tools and language to quell negative, self-defeating thoughts. Championing affirmation and cognitive therapy strategies, Ryan urges readers to switch from “why” thinking to “what could be possible” thinking, using “right brain” skills to achieve success: “The right brain is future oriented. It’s where our aspirations, our dreams, our longings reside.” Ryan’s handy self-help will prove welcome for anyone seeking gentle but solid help in achieving personal change.

10 Best Hanukkah Children’s Books

Books Make the Best Holiday Gifts I think books are the best holiday gifts nannies can give to the children that are left in their care. Not only will the children and their parents enjoy the books, they are affordable for nannies or au pairs on a budget. Books are quality gifts because a love […]

[Continue reading...]

SnoofyBee Changing Pad

Products Nannies Love I can’t tell you how many friends I have that complain about having trouble changing the diapers of the infants and toddlers in their care. Some little ones just hate being changed and can’t be distracted from keeping their hands in the diaper changing area. The SnoofyBee Changing Pad provides all the […]

[Continue reading...]

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Cooking for Kids When the weather turns cold no dinner makes the kids feel warmer than a good old fashioned pot roast like my grandmother used to make. I love using the slow cooker so the house smells of the delicious dinner as it cooks. Here’s my easy recipe: You Will Need: • 5 Potatoes […]

[Continue reading...]

Fingerprint Christmas Lights

Creative Wednesday This is an easy project to do with your nanny kids of any age this holiday season. Allow the children to decide if they want place the Christmas lights in random order or in a pattern. Older kids can write a holiday greeting and sign the cards themselves. I found this project on […]

[Continue reading...]

What Nannies Should Not Lie About

Being Open and Honest is Essential to Being Hired and Maintaining Nanny Jobs Of course everyone tells white lies and withholds information at times. There is no point in being brutally honest with people if it will ruin relationships or hurt their feelings. But, being open and honest is essential when job searching and to […]

[Continue reading...]

Blue Light Protection for Kids

Keep Devices from Ruining Kid’s Eyes, Mood and Sleep We know how important it is to protect children’s eyes from the sun, but seldom realize we need to safeguard their eyes from technology screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises limiting children older than 2 to a maximum of two hours a day on media […]

[Continue reading...]

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Cooking With Kids I was looking for new recipes to use that reminded be of the fall harvest and found this easy baked apple cider donut recipe on thekitchn blog. Making them made the house smell like Autumn. I doubled the recipe and served them to my nanny kids and their friends with some hot apple […]

[Continue reading...]

11 Best Halloween Children’s Books

Weekly Trip to the Library Most of our nanny kids with be dressing up in costumes, walking in school parades, and trick-or-treating next week for Halloween. It’s always fun to help build anticipation for any holiday by reading books with children. Here are some of my nanny kids’ favorite Halloween books. You can purchase any […]

[Continue reading...]