cover image Happy Birthday Martin Luther King

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King

Jean Marzollo. Scholastic Press, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-44065-3

This effective collaboration between Pinkney ( Sukey and the Mermaid ; The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural ) and the prolific Marzollo presents a gentle, pared-down version of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. Geared to preschoolers, the author's brief narrative outlines those of the leader's civil rights accomplishments that this audience is most likely to understand and appreciate, among them those that enabled African Americans and whites in the South to sit together in buses, drink from the same water fountains and attend the same schools. Marzollo's language is equally accessible: ``His dream was that people everywhere would learn to live together without being mean to one another.'' Meticulously employing scratchboard and oil pastels, Pinkney uses intricate series of fine, white lines to create stunning, exquisitely shaded illustrations. Ages 3-7. (Jan.)