We March by Shane W. Evans
More than a quarter million people marched on Washington on August 28, 1963. In simple prose and stirring images, Evans tells the story of one child whose family marched that day. It is a day of working together, faith, and community that culminates with Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. This picture book invites even the youngest of children to feel the power of that day, the message of racial harmony, and to understand how much more work there is yet to do.
The prose here is so simple that it just barely tells the story of the march. With just a handful of words on each double-page spread, the words are very brief. But the story being told here, is much more than those simple words. Rather than obscuring the power of that day with too much exposition, this minimalist approach lets the transcendent moment in history shine. The book does end with a page of information about the march for those looking for further details.
Evans’ illustrations are filled with strength. He uses simple lines that he combines with a mix of painting and collage to get a layered effect in his art. The colors are a mix of subtle and strong. The illustrations focus on a single family that day, but also convey the size of the crowd and the diversity of the people marching.
A powerful, simple look at a historic moment, this book shines with its strong message of unity. A great pick to share any time of the year, it’s one worth highlighting for February’s Black History Month. Appropriate for ages 3-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Roaring Brook Press.