Friday, February 3, 2017

Introducing my boys to Civil Rights Heroes- Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks

It's Black History Month and, to be honest, that usually doesn't mean a whole lot around our house. We are not African American and do not live in an area with many African American people, really at all. So I guess that has made me a bit lax about teaching my kids much about racial issues and tensions- from either side;but I have to admit with the tensions and divide in our country currently,it is hard to escape the fact that it is obviously still an issue to many. While I personally don't agree that it as alive and well of a "disease" now, I am very aware that it was a real civil rights issue not that long ago. It is part of the history of our country and I want to give my kids the full scope of our nation's story. So I was very excited to get the chance to review two new, outstanding board books from WorthyKids/Ideals

The Story of Rosa Parks is an engaging, little board book that introduces young children to "the Mother of the civil rights". This book does a wonderful job of summarizing who Rosa was as an individual- where she grew up, who she married- and what actions and ideals we remember her for- quiet conviction and courage. I just love the soft and almost dream-like illustrations and thought the text was straightforward and approachable for kids.

The next book, The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. is very similar in style as these two books are part of a series and I am glad to own them both! My boys had a little bit of an earlier introduction to MLK as my husband got the day off for MLK day and we took a family fun day to the coast. While we driving, we had a fun moment of "homeschool on the go" when we explained to the boys why it was a holiday and who we were remembering. I was surprised with how interested my 6 year old was-he and his Daddy even did some more online investigating on MLK while I ran into a coffee shop. It was a neat chance to see how "real life learning" really does happen! :)

This board book starts with asking children if they know why we celebrate MLK day and then follows up by explaining who he was and what we remember him for doing. I appreciated the book's approach to present MLK as a child who wanted to things just like any other kid would- eat at restaurants with his family, drink from any water fountain he came across, and go to a good school- but that he couldn't. I think these were valid civil rights areas for kids to understand why MLK stood and fought for what he did. 

I truly do feel that both these historic figures are heroes for my children to look up to and am thankful for a resource to introduce them to these names at a young age. Both Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. fought injustice and took a stance for their ideals and convictions, but they did it in a peaceful, civilized way. I think that's a lesson that many in our country need to take note of right now-I hope to instill that idea in my kids from an early age.

Thanks to Worthy Publishing for providing me with these books to review and share with my readers!

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