I See the Rhythmby Toyomi Igus, Michele Wood
i see the rhythmis an inspiring celebration of African American music and the far-reaching impact it has had on the world.
Children's Literature - Susie WildeIgus begins with early African rhythms and circles back as a singer raps: "Africa's inside me/ taking back her child./ she's giving me my pride/ and setting me free." The reader is led through a history of African-American music. Each luscious page is a collage of poetry, history and visual images which form a tribute to the ingenuity and spirit of a people captured in their music. In "Origins," Igus' poetry describes the griots' stories as "the rhythm of our beginnings...the pulse of a people and a land in harmony." Woods accompanies with collages of masks and patters that praise a past and bear witness to the sorrow of the coming of slave traders. The artists' duet leads readers through fourteen different periods of musical evolution.
Children's Literature - Cheryl PetersonThis beautifully painted picture book is a quite sophisticated look at African- American history and music over the past 500 years. The paintings depict musical scenes from slave times up to present day rap artists. The paintings are captioned with chronological historical events such as the first slave capture in the 1500s, and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The text is a poetic rendering of the musical history of African-Americans including slave songs, blues, ragtime, jazz, swing, bebop, gospel, rhythm and blues, soul, rock, funk and rap/hip hop. Historical information about various artists is given along with excerpts from songs.
Children's Literature - Jan LiebermanFrom the slave songs to the blues, to ragtime, jazz beginnings, be-bop, gospel, rhythm and blues, rock 'n roll, funk and hip hop, each form is presented in exciting paintings with poetic text. "I see the rhythm of big band jazz...The finger poppin' jazz of Fletcher Henderson, the foot-stompin' rhythms of Louis Armstrong, the toe-tappin' genius of Duke Ellington...make us wanna boogie-woogie all night long." Each page is graced with informational bits about each of the musical names and political events of the period. The book must be combined with the music of the era from the songs of slavery, "Let my people go!" to the cool jazz of John Coltrane, Miles Davis and your own favorites.
School Library JournalA pictorial timeline of African-American music from the 1500s to the 1990s. The text, made up of free verse and music lyrics, incorporates different font sizes, shapes, and colors to underline the mood of each genre. A chronology gives a historical perspective and a context for young readers. It invites them to learn more, mentioning parallel historical events and the well-known singers, songwriters, and recording artists of the time. The first three double-page spreads, "Origins," "Slave Songs," and "Birth of the Blues," seem purposely more subdued and somber. With ragtime, the joy of music predominates. Through the eras of jazz, swing, bebop, cool jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, rock `n' roll, funk, rap, and hip hop, the music is the message. The repetition of "I see" to open each genre gives the book an action and a rhythm particularly apt to its subject. The colors of each full-page scenario underline the mood. Golds and blues dominate the stained-glass scene from the gospel pages. A green-hued patchwork underscores the scenes of rhythm and blues and soul music of the `60s. For cool jazz, broad stroked, defined skyscrapers fill the deep blues of a night city sky as white or black text flies at various angles against a gray-blue page. This book celebrates music with art and words and successfully blends all three. -- Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, New York
Kirkus ReviewsThe collaborators on Going Back Home 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 historyþboth musical and more general informationþwhich 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.
- Lee & Low Books, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.50(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.30(d)
- Age Range:
- 6 Years
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