I Have a Dream: 7 Books to Teach Tots About Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is today, and it's the perfect opportunity to teach tots a bit about the great man and what he was struggling for — and against. There's nothing simple about his life, struggle, or the civil rights movement, but click through for several kid-friendly tomes written on the powerful subject so that they understand why they have the day off school today.
The Story of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. ($4) is a great book to start teaching toddlers about MLK Jr. The story begins with Martin as a young boy, showing how he loved school and always did more than what was required of him. It also shows the dark side — that little Martin and his family weren't allowed to eat wherever they wanted, and were forced to use separate water fountains. The story ends on a high note, with readers seeing an adult Martin making his famous "I Have a Dream Speech," and how everyone finally was able to eat where they chose, drink out of any water fountain, and go to any school.
I Am Rosa Parks
Part of Brad Meltzer's Ordinary People Change the World series, I Am Rosa Parks ($7) tells the story of Rosa Parks from her perspective — following her life from childhood through the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Written for preschoolers, the book balances out harsher moments of racial discrimination with humorous anecdotes from Rosa, and strong lessons that even young children can understand.
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. ($7) is the beautifully illustrated story of Martin Luther King Jr., highlighting the central themes of his life and handling his death in an honest but preschool-appropriate manner.
I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.
Brad Meltzer's Ordinary People Change the World series continues to introduce tots to heroes with his latest biography, I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. ($12). The book, appropriate for kids in their early elementary school years, relates the civil rights activist's biography in a fun and relatable way. It beautifully conveys MLK Jr.'s belief in peaceful, nonviolent protests and marches and serves as a great way to spark conversation at home.