I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson

August 14th, 2013 Kimberly Review 42 Comments

14th Aug

Today along with Random House Children’s Books we are Celebrating the Civil Rights Movement! As you might already be aware, August 28th is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s landmark “I Have a Dream” speech, a watershed moment in the struggle for civil rights. I am sharing the picture book, I HAVE A DREAM, which includes Martin Luther King, Jr.’s celebrated speech illustrated with exquisite paintings by celebrated artist and Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson, which published last year. Take a moment to visit Random Houses’ enhanced website for “I Have a Dream”. I encourage you to Celebrate the movement and share King’s speech. Below is my review of this beautiful children’s book.


I Have A DreamI Have A Dream
by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: October 9, 2012
Age Range: Five to Nine Yrs.
Source: publisher
Purchase: Amazon

A Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book. From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.” On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson’s magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation’s past. Included with the book is an audio CD of the speech.

I have to say I was impressed by this over-sized picture book. The illustrations are absolutely wonderful and give King a warmth and portray him as strong and confident. Each page contains a few sentences of King’s speech surrounded by the images and together they are powerful.


I shared I Have A Dream with a few children, ages four to nine and they enjoyed the illustrations. The book allows for conversation and the children engaged with the book, even adding comments like share with everyone, and be friends with everyone. We had quite a nice time and depending on the child’s age this allows many learning moments as well as quality time together. The Cd included  provides the “I Have A Dream” speech.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

42 Responses to “I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr., Kadir Nelson”

  1. Jan

    Thanks for this review, Kim. I’m ordering this book from Amazon in the book form. I usually only buy and read ebooks these days, but I want a physical book so I can look at the pictures…lol…and listen to the CD.

    Living in the WA DC area I’m so glad I can go visit the Martin Luther King memorial and we always take visitors to it. It’s so powerful.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      We are originally from the East coast and would go spend many a weekend with the kids in DC, we loved visiting all of the monuments and museums…so much to see and learn.

  2. Michelle

    I love the illustrations for this, it’s such a lovely looking book. Not to mention the fantastic message. It’s great that they are trying to make such an important moment more accessible to children. We had books like this when I was a kid but they were really wordy and hard to follow, so this is great.

  3. Maida

    OMG!! I totally read that book in grade school. Martin Luther King Jr. is a truly inspiring person and I honestly never get tired of listening to his life story. I’m soo happy you shared this! 😀

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks this is a wonderful addition for any family library 🙂

  4. Christina K.

    This looks awesome! So engaging and especially because it’s illustrated, which really gets the message across in a way that stays with you!!

    Lovely review:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Christina this was refreshing and a good reminder 🙂

  5. Tanja

    What a pretty book! I’m so happy that there is illustrated book for kids with thematic of this speech. This speech really leaves you speechless. Great post! 🙂

  6. Katertot

    Hi, Ms. Kimba! This book sounds great — I wish I had had it when I was writing my paper on Martin Luther King, Jr. last year. He’s one of my favorite historical figures. Awesome post! *hugs* <3

    — Katertot

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Katertot,this is a neat book and hopefully it will help another student with their report! :)<3 hugs

  7. Michele

    This is fabulous, Kimba! Katertot did a paper on Martin Luther King, Jr. last year, and it was difficult to find information books for her age group. I am so happy to see this book for young children. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Lauren

    This sounds like a wonderful gift idea for my friend’s children. Love the illustrations! I’ve always loved Kadir Nelson, he is so talented. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Melissa (Books and Things)

    That looks fab! Loving the illustrations! I love that they are doing these things specifically for kids (and those of us who are eternal kids… LOL). Looks like I may have found pressies for some little ones.

  10. Heidi

    I think this is fantastic. The illustrations look very detailed and wonderful. What a great idea. I also think it is awesome that they included the CD with the original speech!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      the cd is a nice touch and allows the book to appeal to so many age groups

  11. Candace

    This sounds like one I need to get. I read one about Ghandi not too long ago and it had me in tears, in a good way! It’s just so amazing to see what a difference ONE person can make, it definitely makes me all emotional…

  12. Laurel-Rain Snow

    This book sounds lovely! There is nothing more inspirational than hearing the words that launched a movement (or seeing them depicted in a book).

    I can still hear the televised voice of MLK during those times that were “a-changing.” Thanks for sharing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I get goosebumps when I listen to him speak and his message speaks to the masses.

  13. Andrea

    What a fabulous book! This would be so excellent for my kids, especially my (almost) 8yo who has a lot of questions.
    Thanks for bringing this book (and date) to my attention!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      you are welcome Andrea, I don’t really review children’s books but this was a good cause and one we all need to celebrate and share.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is a really nice book and the illustrations are beautiful as is the message.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed, I am going to donate my copy to the local children’s shelter.

  14. kindlemom1

    I too am glad that they have books like these that also appeal to a younger audience! too much of your history (especially the good things) gets lots over time or glossed over.

  15. Kimberly

    I’m so glad that they’re making books about heroes like MLK available for little kids. When they’re younger things stick with them more and I think it’s great that people still find him relevant today. It’s crazy to think how far things have come in the last 50 years since the Civil Rights Movement. This is one I’ll keep in mind when Mr. Turning the Pages and I have kids (Hopefully sooner rather than later!).

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree Kimberly, I think the book is a great idea to remind our kids so we move forward even more over the next fifty years!