Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Cart That Carried Martin

The Cart That Carried Martin

Eve Bunting
Illustrator:   Don Tate 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Charlesbridge, 2013   ISBN: 978-1580893879

There was a cart outside on the sidewalk in front of Cook’s Antiques and Stuff. It was old and the paint on its boards had faded. One day some men came to look at it and they decided that it would suit their purposes. The cart was taken away in a truck and it was painted green, “the color of grass when it rains.”

   The cart was then taken to the Ebenezer Baptist Church where two mules were hitched to it.  It was a simple conveyance for an ordinary funeral. Soon crowds began to gather outside the church, and inside the very air throbbed with song that was full of the sadness of loss.

   Then the coffin was loaded into the cart, and the mules pulled their load, which was not heavy. Though the man in the coffin had had a “great spirit” that could move hearts and change minds, his spirit was gone.

   The cart bearing the coffin rolled through the streets of Atlanta. Some of the people watching sang, others “stood in holy silence,” paying their respects, for the body of a great man was going by. The body of Martin Luther King, Jr. was taking its final journey.

   In this powerful picture book Eve Bunting tells the true story of a simple farm cart that was used on one of America’s saddest days. It is a true story that chapters the loss that thousands of people felt when they said goodbye to Martin Luther King Jr.

   At the back of the book the author provides young readers with further information about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his funeral.