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I See the Rhythm (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner) Hardcover – February 11, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Toyomi Igus is the author and editor of several books for children, including Two Mrs. Gibsons and the award-winning books Going Back Home and I See the Rhythm. A former Editor and Publications Director for UCLA s Center for African American studies, Toyomi has been honored for her work in promoting literacy among children. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Michele Wood is an artist whose work defies all boundaries. As a painter, illustrator, designer and writer, she has gained wide recognition in the United States. She has been honored with the prestigious American Book Award for her first book, Going Back Home and by the American Library Association with the 1999 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for her book, I See the Rhythm. Her work, which has been exhibited in major venues nationally, reflects an essential sense of history and place. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. www.michelewood.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

The collaborators on Going Back Home (1997) return with a stunning history of African-American music. They begin 500 years ago, on the African continent, chronicle the slave trade, and document the work songs and spirituals of American slaves. The blues, ragtime, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock, funk, rap, and hip hop all come under scrutiny in free-verse poems that incorporate lyrics about and the rhythms of every style. In addition, Igus has added a brief description of each musical movement and a terrific timeline noting highlights of African-American historyboth musical and more general informationwhich roots the whole book in a broader context. Wood's vibrant paintings are based in historical detail, and resonate with emotion. The color choices, postures of the figures, as well as the expressions on their faces, reflect various aspects of African-American music; the pictures broadcast joy, innovation, and exuberance in the face of systematic oppression. A child hidden in each scene adds a nice piece of personality for readers to interpret. Stylish and lively design pulls it all together into an absorbing, attractive package. (Picture book. 7-9) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Series: Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Children's Book Press; 1St Edition edition (February 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892391510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892391516
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,439,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I use this book as part of my jazz unit where I teach elementary music. I show and read it to my primary students. The added value of imagery helps certain students connect to aspects of music they'd never thought. The book is straightforward, easy to read and my students enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great book to include in a public library, home library, or school library. This book can be incorporated in many areas of learning. The author does an excellent job discussing the historical and physical features of African American music. Reading the book is like going on a musical journey. Some of the music types discussed are; jazz, ragtime, blues, gospel, and bebop. Each music type is well described, and Michele has included in each musical description a timeline, important figures associated with the music, and sample lyrics. Michele Wood also includes an activity in the book. She has put a little girl in each scene, and the reader has to locate her. It is not always easy. The little girl represents Michele when she was growing up. I highly recommend this book to young and old. Michele Wood has done an excellent job writing an interesting and informative book.
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Format: Hardcover
"I see the rhythm. I see the rhythm of our beginnings. I feel the pulse of a people and a land in harmony. I hear the legends told by the drum, the beats of our beliefs, the music of our ancient history..." From its roots in Africa and slave songs, to the birth of the blues, ragtime, swing, jazz, and gospel, to rhythm and blues, rock and roll, hip hop, funk, and rap, Toyomi Igus and Michele Wood trace the history of African American music. Ms Igus' lyrical free verse, rich in imagery and magic, is powerful and evocative as it swirls creatively around the page, and is complemented by Ms Wood's stunning illustrations, full of emotion and drama that captures both the feel of the music and the times. Each two page spread also includes a brief description of the musical style, and a marvelous timeline that sets that musical period in its larger, historical context. Perfect for youngsters 10 and older, I See The Rhythm is an inspiring feast for the eyes and ears that celebrates African American music and brings it to life on the page, and is a terrific introduction that shouldn't be missed.
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Format: Library Binding
This beautifully illustrated book tells the history of African-American music through poems and art. It is both informative and inspiring. I hate age-level labels on books like this. Adults will appreciate this book as much as children. I stumbled upon it at a new multicultural bookstore, discovering later that it was a Coretta Scott King winner. I can see why!
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By Lauren on October 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
i see the rhythm is a story telling of the evolution of music and it's connection to African American music. This is one of my favorite books I have read for the reviews so far. The entire book is a piece of art and each painting is a story. I'm sure many people have had the art class where you listen to music and paint what you feel and hear. This author and artist were able to capture the feeling of each music style so well. Even if the reader isn't too familiar with the style, between the illustration and the rhythm and rhyme of the poems the reader is able to get a pretty good idea. The author also adds a time line with a short description and events that happened that accompany the poetry very well. The style of the poetry really captures the readers attention. The more upbeat and loud music has a busier page with more colors while the slower calmer music has a bit of rhyming like the cool jazz with it's strange angles and the gospel with its orderly poem. This is another book that with out a doubt will be in my library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The illustrations are incredibly thoughtful, vibrant, and abstract enough to trigger the imagination. The facts offered through the timeline taught me a lot about our history and put a great deal in perspective for me.
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