I See the Rhythm of the Gospel

Toyomi Igus, illus. by Michele Wood, Zonderkidz, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-310-71819-2
Three forms of narrative—pictorial, poetic, and factual—take place in this somewhat cluttered exploration of the historical, cultural, and spiritual influences that produced gospel music, from the collaborators behind I See the Rhythm (1998). Full-bleed paintings cover at least half of each spread, while small adjacent text puts Wood's imagery in historical context. Opposite, first-person poems, in various font colors and sizes, take readers through decades from Africa to slave ship, plantation to Underground Railroad, and to cities across the U.S. up to the present day. Highlighted dates with short explanatory paragraphs appear six to 10 a page, detailing key events ("1870: The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution gives blacks the right to vote"). Christian symbols (doves, crosses, fish) and odes to gospel stars like Louis Armstrong, the Golden Gate Quartet, and Pastor Shirley weave throughout emphasizing spiritual themes: "With sanctified voices—powerful and strong—our gospel divas channel His love through song." This comprehensive, energetic book (which includes a CD) addresses the gospel community's passionate endeavor to engage ever-changing political and cultural influences while remaining true to its cultural roots. Ages 9–12. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 40 pages - 978-0-310-42399-7
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