Children's Books

As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel's Amazing March Toward Freedom

by Richard Michelson and Raul Colon (Illustrator)
Publication: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition, 2008

Ages 4-8


Michelson (Tuttle's Red Barn) deftly draws comparisons between Martin Luther King Jr. and the German-born rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel as he describes what led them to walk together in the famous 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. His brisk narrative, divided in two parts, chronicles their parallel experiences: both have parents who instill self-respect, both encounter discrimination and hatred, and both follow their fathers into religious careers. The first half, which Colón renders in earthy hues, covers King, while the blue palette of the second half focuses on Heschel. (Blue reminded the illustrator of "old movies about Europe in the World War II era.") Similar language in both sections, e.g., the titular "You are just as good as anybody," as well as scenes that echo each other, drive home the connections. Subtle variations in wording and layout keep the parallels from feeling contrived. Colón's (My Mama Had a Dancing Heart) trademark mixed-media illustrations incorporate wavy, etched lines full of movement, suggesting the dynamism of a pastor and rabbi who insisted on bringing about change. -- Publishers Weekly





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