Bunting’s (Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?) impressionistic, dramatic recreation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral procession covers much of the same ground as Belle, The Last Mule at Gee’s Bend by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud (2011). In clipped prose, Bunting writes of the weather-beaten farm cart borrowed for the job (“Its paint had faded.... Nobody wanted it”) and of the thousands who came out to pay final respects: “The church throbbed with the sounds of singing. The songs were not sad, but there was a terrible sadness in them anyway.” Tate’s (Hope’s Gift) loose pencil and gouache art balances emotionally charged close-up images of mourners with broader scenes in which crowds flank the mule-drawn cart on its journey through Atlanta. In a birds-eye view of the scene at King’s alma mater, Morehouse College, a vast, gray sea of people fills the school’s quadrangle for a second memorial service. The final pages reveal the cart’s current home and further emphasize the humility of a vehicle “that, not so long ago, carried greatness.” Ages 6–9. Illustrator’s agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/2013 Release date: 08/01/2013 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.