From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3–A niece recalls the times she spent as a young girl with her famous uncle. “He was a great civil rights leader and an American hero….His name was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But to me, it was Uncle Martin. Actually, it was Uncle M.L.” Watkins briefly mentions some of the famous events associated with King during the civil-rights era, such as protest marches and speeches, but the focus is on the special relationship the child shared with a favorite uncle and the details she remembers, such as his humor and laughter. An apt example is an illustration in which the author races down the aisle after services at Ebenezer and into the outstretched arms of her uncle. Realistic and warm paintings fill each page. Combine this memoir with Christine King Farris's My Brother Martin (S & S, 2003) and March on! The Day My Brother Martin Changed The World (Scholastic, 2008). These books written by close relatives give young children a valuable and more personal insight into the man's family life and times.Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
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In this warm, handsome picture book, Watkins celebrates her loving relationship as a small preschooler with “Uncle M. L.” From the opening double-page spread, in which King addresses a huge crowd with his “I have a dream” speech, the girl speaks about taking pride in her uncle’s political role as a civil rights leader and national hero. Even more, though, she focuses on personal moments, and the images show moving close-ups of her as a little girl welcoming King, her mother’s brother, in her family’s home or running down a church aisle with pigtails flying, ready to be picked up and kissed by the great leader. Prizewinning artist Velasquez is at his best here, creating many individual faces among the huge packed rallies on the street, and in portraits, he shows the affection that the child and her uncle share. Idyllic, yes, but for small kids, this puts a human face on the legend, and children will be interested in the small sepia-toned childhood photo of Angela in her uncle’s arms. Preschool-Grade 2. --Hazel Rochman