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I See the Rhythm of Gospel Hardcover – December 6, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Har/Com edition (December 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310718198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310718192
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 11 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gospel music—its origins and its effects on the souls and stories of African Americans—gets a strong, loving treatment here. Wood and Igus, who collaborated on I See the Rhythm (1998), once again join forces, with Igus providing the stirring text and Wood the inventive folk art. After an introduction explains the elements of gospel, the book begins with the coming of slaves to America and follows the music as it moves through specific periods in history—slavery, Reconstruction, the Great Migration, the civil rights movement—and becomes meshed with other forms of music, including “holy hip-hop.” The prose poetry, appearing in varying colors and fonts, features strong, memorable phrases—“Gospel women turn city streets into sacred spaces”—and is matched by intricately detailed paintings executed in strong colors. The only false note is the sometimes cluttered format, with lengthy captions on every page and a time line running throughout. Adding to the book’s usefulness is a terrific CD with five songs spanning the history of gospel music. A solid package for those already familiar with the strains of gospel or those getting into it for the first time. Grades 4-7. --Ilene Cooper

Review

Gospel music---its origins and its effects on the souls and stories of African Americans---gets a strong, loving treatment here. Wood and Igus, who collaborated on I See the Rhythm (1998), once again join forces, with Igus providing the stirring text and Wood the inventive folk art. After an introduction explains the elements of gospel, the book begins with the coming of slaves to America and follows the music as it moves through specific periods in history---slavery, Reconstruction, the Great Migration, the civil rights movement---and becomes meshed with other forms of music, including “holy hip-hop.” The prose poetry, appearing in varying colors and fonts, features strong, memorable phrases---“Gospel women turn city streets into sacred spaces”---and is matched by intricately detailed paintings executed in strong colors. Adding to the book’s usefulness is a terrific CD with five songs spanning the history of gospel music. A solid package for those already familiar with the strains of gospel or those getting into it for the first time. (Booklist)

Reprising the vibrancy of their Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner, I See the Rhythm (1998), Wood and Igus celebrate African-American gospel music along its historical transit from the Middle Passage to 21st-century “Holy Hip Hop.” Double spreads explore gospel’s evolution through slavery, the post-Reconstruction migrations north and west, gospel quartets on radio and vinyl and much more. There’s a whole lot going on, including the rhyming verse, a timeline of cultural and historical events and captions elucidating the accompanying paintings. The color-saturated art pulses with symbolic patterns and raw emotion. Display type alters with each page turn, and borders and spot art construed from facing paintings complete each teeming layout. Gospel’s symbiosis with Christian spirituality---and the artist’s own deep devotion---are key: One painting, both compelling and disturbing, depicts the crucified Christ nailed to a slave ship’s joists, flanked by men bound and contorted by chains. An accompanying CD contains five songs representing selected musical eras, with the Golden Gate Quartet and---spectacularly---Mahalia Jackson, the clear standouts. (foreword, quotations, suggested song list) Kirkus Reviews 12/2010 (Kirkus)

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. (Publisher’s Weekly, 1/2011)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I See the Rhythm of Gospel is a richly textured tale of the African American experience over a 500+ year period, told through art, poetry, and song. Beginning with life in Africa, through the journey of slave ships and plantations, escape and emancipation, the community of church and the language of song, this story weaves Gospel - both the music of hope and strength, and the work of God to liberate people from darkness - throughout the long struggle faced by African Americans. It deals artistically, yet realistically, with the pain of slavery and the civil rights struggles of the 50s and 60s. I See the Rhythm confronts and laments the deep abyss of pain left over from centuries of abuse, and yet is ultimately a story of hope, that this people found a way to survive, to thrive, to overcome (a journey which sadly is still not complete). And the role of the Church, and gospel music in particular, can't be overstated in that work to overcome.

Many famous names are here - Mahalia Jackson, Thomas Dorsey, Shirley Caesar, Andrae Crouch - as are the old gospel quartets - the Soul Stirrers, the Dixie Hummingbirds. Along with the musicians are others we know of, from Nelson Mandela to Rodney King, from Harriet Tubman to Toni Morrison. More importantly, however, are probably the millions of nameless people whose faces have been lost to history. The ones who struggled and died, the ones who marched and sang, the ones who simply put food on the table for their children. These are the ones honored by artist Michelle Wood in the beautiful, colorful, profound artwork that graces these pages.

I was touched by the dignity and hope pervading these pages; I was educated about pieces of African American history I hadn't yet heard.
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By A. Whipple on March 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There is a new book put out by Zonderkidz called I See the Rhythm of Gospel written by Toyomi Igus and illustrated by Michele Wood. Personally, I think this book is great and filled with tons of facts-including a timeline from 1485 to 1998. This book teaches children about some of American history as inspired by gospel music. It discusses more than just slavery and Civil Rights. Each page has a poem that begins, "I See the Rhythm of ...) Each page focuses on a certain period such as Our Hope (hoping for freedom through the Underground Railroad) and Gospel Quartets. Each page has a few dates and facts included too, for the time line. The illustrations are vibrant and bold. (I do prefer the illustrations inside the book to the cover art.) The poems are much too complicated for a child under 6 to understand, in my opinion. I See the Rhythm of Gospel includes a five song CD, too. (I did not get the CD for review.) According to Amazon, this book is for children ages 4-8; however I think it is much more suitable for ages 6-10. It certainly would be an asset for a teacher and family to use for children of that age. I would spend much time discussing it even with a 6-8 year old.

I thank Zonderkidz for sending these ARCs for review purposes.
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Format: Hardcover
The Coretta Scott King award-winning writer/author team who created "I See the Rhythm" have returned with a new children's picturebook that touches upon the rhythm of gospel and the history of African-Americans, in I See the Rhythm of Gospel. Colorful illustrations re-enact critical moments in Black History, from the beginning of slavery in the 1500s to the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 to the civil rights movement and the inauguration of America's first African-American president in 2008. Each page features a catchy, gospel-style chant/song embellished with a ring of thumbnail summaries of crucial events. An accompanying CD offers the songs "Wade in the Water", "I Will Move On Up A Little Higher", "Hallelujah Praise", "Jesus Be A Fence Around Me", and "I Love You". I See the Rhythm of Gospel is a treasure for children's public library collections and an inspirational giftbook, highly recommended.
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