Today’s picture book poetry collection was another one I heard about last summer at the national SCBWI conference in LA.
“Martin Rising” is written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by her husband Brian Pinkney. It’s all about Martin Luther King Jr.’s last year. It starts with his birth, then jumps to that same day in 1968 when he turns 39 years old. It then proceeds through events of that year with many powerful poems and a framework with a mystical Henny Penny foretelling the future. It is powerfully written and takes a fresh approach I haven’t seen before. That’s quite a feat for a topic that is well covered about a person in history that is so well loved.
Brian’s new, much looser illustration style also worked wonderfully well paired with the text. I heard him talk at the conference about his illustration process and how it had developed to where he is presently working in a much more fluid style. It was illuminating to hear and watch his art evolve over the years, as well as to see it put into action in this book.
I share one of the poems from the book (somewhere around the middle–it’s another thick book), but it is four pages long. I share the spread (so you can see the art work in conjunction with the text) and then individual shots of the poem pages so you can read the text here.