How Sweet the Sound: African-American Songs for Children

Overview

Rousing renditions of nine songs from Wade and Cheryl Hudson's acclaimed collection are introduced by brief narratives that set each song in its historical context. From songs of the motherland to work songs of slaves, from spirituals and gospel to jazz, 23 songs are included in a full-color picture book containing lyrics, music and background.

Presents lyrics and background notes for twenty-three contemporary and traditional African-American songs. Includes ...

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Overview

Rousing renditions of nine songs from Wade and Cheryl Hudson's acclaimed collection are introduced by brief narratives that set each song in its historical context. From songs of the motherland to work songs of slaves, from spirituals and gospel to jazz, 23 songs are included in a full-color picture book containing lyrics, music and background.

Presents lyrics and background notes for twenty-three contemporary and traditional African-American songs. Includes "Kumbaya," "Take the 'A' Train," and Stevie Wonder's "Happy Birthday."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Heavenly tunes are the soulful mainstay of two new fall publications. Crown's This Is My Song! A Collection of Gospel Music for the Family by Vy Higginsen, illus. by Brenda Joysmith, features the scores and lyrics to 30 gospel standards, realistic illustrations and extensive front matter that documents African American gospel ($25, all ages ISBN 0-517-59492-7 Sept.); Wade and Cheryl Hudson's How Sweet the Sound, with atmospheric illustrations by Floyd Cooper, showcases lyrics from gospels and songs that spotlight key periods in African American history, from ``Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'' to James Brown's ``Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud'' (Scholastic, $15.95, ages 3-8 ISBN 0-590-48030-8 Oct.).
Children's Literature - Marny Helfrich
The authors, who separately and together have written several lovely books featuring Afican American children, describe this beautiful hardcover book as "not a musical song book ... [but] a picture book that illustrates songs." It presents more than twenty traditional African-American songs, including spirituals, folk songs, chants, and more contemporary favorites such as "Take the A Train." The beautifully painted illustrations depict African Americans in a variety of both modern and historical settings. The songs' lyrics are presented in poem form with the illustrations; a section at the end of the book provides background information, as well as the musical score for each song. A list of other resources, including both books and musical collections, is included. How Sweet the Sound is a welcome addition to both homes and school programs seeking to create an affirming, multi-cultural environment for children of all ages.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A collection of 23 songs complemented by beautifully expressive oil wash on board illustrations. Traditional selections such as ``Kum Ba Ya,'' ``Follow the Drinking Gourd,'' and ``This Little Light of Mine'' appear along with spirituals such as ``Go Down, Moses,'' ``Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,'' and ``Get on Board, Little Children.'' Protest songs, street cries, and popular soul music (James Brown's ``Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud'' and Stevie Wonder's ``Happy Birthday'') round out the anthology. A brief history of each song and composer, when known, as well as the musical scores, are appended. Cooper's distinguished artwork has a soft-focused, dreamlike quality. An appealing invitation to ``Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing.''-Barbara Osborne Williams, Queens Borough Public Library, Jamaica, NY
Julie Yates Walton
Stretching from spirituals to Stevie Wonder tunes, this outstanding, illustrated song collection "gives readers a glimpse at the history of Blacks in America through their music." The Hudsons include songs from Africa, spirituals, work songs, gospels, jazz, blues, play songs, chants, soul, and popular music--all of which are empathetically illustrated in oil wash on board. Between the lyrics and the illustrations, readers will get quite a feel for the history of African Americans. The illustration for "Kum Ba Ya," for example, shows an African boy whirling around in childish freedom as slave ships dock ominously in the misty background. Whether Cooper is depicting slavery, the civil rights movement, or scenes of daily life, he paints with reverence, infusing each scene with obvious love for and pride in his subjects. Melodies are provided in the back as well as recommendations for reading and listening. This title is a companion to "Pass It On: African-American Poetry for Children" (1993).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590480307
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1995
  • Series: Poetry and Story Collections Ser.
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.84 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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