cover image I Got the Rhythm

I Got the Rhythm

Connie Schofield-Morrison, illus. by Frank Morrison. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-61963-178-6

These husband-wife collaborators present a book that reflects the joy and delight of an African-American girl who’s energized by the sounds, sights, and smells around her. Accompanied by her mother and eventually joined by friends, she bops through a city park—puffy pigtails bouncing and a wide grin on her face—as she uses her whole body to respond to and interpret the rhythm she detects around her. The driving beat of debut author Schofield-Morrison’s narrative is likely to have readers bouncing and tapping right along with her: “I shook a rhythm with my hips. SHAKE SHAKE. I felt the rhythm with my knees. KNOCK KNOCK.” Morrison’s (Stars in the Shadows) full-bleed oil paintings make the most of the story’s more boisterous moments. His lithe caricatures showcase rubbery limbs, chipmunk cheeks, and arching bodies as the girl breakdances in front of an admiring crowd (“I popped and locked./ I hipped and hopped”) and a spontaneous line dance erupts amid a diverse group of children. An upbeat celebration of the senses, self-expression, and camaraderie. Ages 2–6. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (June)