Book Reviews

Book Review: My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart by Angela Farris Watkins, Illustrated by Eric Velásquez

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Picture Book, Children’s Fiction, History
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “…he was an ordinary man with extraordinary love!”

ABOUT: A moving portrait of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. from his niece.

My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart is a story about love: love between a young girl and her uncle, and all the love she sees her uncle share—with his family members, with his church congregation, and with all people. In this inspiring narrative about Martin Luther King Jr.—told by his niece—young readers will discover the story of the man behind the civil rights hero and activist, one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century.

As Angela Farris Watkins, PhD, introduces children to her uncle, she presents them with a rare glimpse into his life at home, including special family moments. What unfolds is a story of character and service to God, family, and mankind, and of how one man’s extraordinary love changed the history of the United States and the world.


My Review: My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart was a fantastic book about Martin Luther King, Jr. You get a clear, really personal, in depth look at his life through the lens of one of his nieces. You get a glimpse of the man behind the icon – a son, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle, who loved his family dearly.

MLKjr is a fascinating and important person to read about. I was mesmerized by the story and eager to learn more and more about how awe-inspired the author was by her uncle. You could see through the words and stunning illustrations how beloved and respected MLKjr was by his family whom he held close to his heart even while he was far from home a lot.

While the book is more focused on the relationship between niece and uncle, the reader still learns why MLKjr was such an inspirational and influential civil rights leader and how tirelessly he worked to make the world a better place for everyone.

I even learned something new about MLKjr: I didn’t know he had a nickname his family liked to call him – M.L. This book is worth the read and a perfect read-aloud for a classroom library.

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