The ebullient girl who first appeared in Schofield-Morrison’s I Got the Rhythm wakes up brimming with Christmas spirit. She and her mother venture into the snowy streets of their diverse city neighborhood. As the girl—cozily dressed in a purple parka—admires a festive department store window, “I sparkled in the spirit of the lights.” The child joins a group of carolers and inhales the sweet smell of roasting nuts. She even brings cheer to a grumpy Santa: “I spread the spirit with my smile.” Morrison’s oil paintings capture the crackling energy of a city preparing for Christmas; the married coauthors’ message about cultivating kindness, gratitude, and community the whole year through sings on the page. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
Christmas spirit is expressed in joyous and reflective onomatopoeic exclamations in this new holiday staple . . . Snowflakes flutter across bright illustrations, encouraging readers to inhale, feel, taste, and listen to all things Christmas as embodied in loving detail in the rhythmic language. . . . Soul-stirring and sure to put readers in a festive mood.” Kirkus Reviews
"Morrison’s oil paintings capture the crackling energy of a city preparing for Christmas; the married coauthors’ message about cultivating kindness, gratitude, and community the whole year through sings on the page." - Publishers Weekly
"Schofield-Morrison's onomatopoeia-inflected text and Morrison's kinetic, zoomed-in oil paintings enliven various iterations of experiencing 'the spirit' . . . An energetic and uplifting celebration of the season." - Horn Book Magazine
“The driving beat of debut author Schofield-Morrison's narrative is likely to have readers bouncing and tapping right along with her . . . An upbeat celebration of the senses, self-expression, and camaraderie.” Publishers Weekly on I GOT THE RHYTHM
“The bright palette and vibrant tones of Morrison's loosely painted illustrations echo the energy of the text nicely . . . the book begs readers to sing and move along with this little dancer.” Booklist on I GOT THE RHYTHM
“For a storytime that will get bodies rocking, fingers popping, and rhythm flowing.” Library Media Connection on I GOT THE RHYTHM
“The little girl at the center of it all is wholly likable in her joyful approach. . . . This will work well in an interactive storytime for preschoolers, as listeners are invited to shake and stomp along with the happy protagonist.” BCCB on I GOT THE RHYTHM
“Ready made for storytime, Schofield-Morrison's text pulses with a beat of its own and practically demands audiences to clap along. . . . The urban setting and varied cast of characters make this title particularly valuable, showcasing diversity as an integral part of everyday life.” School Library Journal on I GOT THE RHYTHM
PreS-Gr 1—Wintry scenes on every page set the scene for another winning picture book from this husband-and-wife duo. As in I Got the Rhythm, Morrison's ebullient oil-on-canvas paintings depict a young African American girl in an urban setting who is overjoyed that the Christmas season has arrived. The story begins with the girl waking up to snow falling outside her bedroom window. The text and illustrations show the child using all five senses to experience a winter day during the Christmas season. "I heard the spirit in the air…" She and her mother spend the day shopping, ice skating, caroling, and visiting Santa Claus; the girl's joy in her surroundings is evident in the illustrations. The colors are rich and saturated, but not overdone. Schofield-Morrison's text is concise enough to make this a good choice for a storytime, even for preschoolers. The message, "THE SPIRIT IS YOU!" and that the holiday is as much about giving as receiving are important ones. VERDICT A first purchase for schools or communities that wish to include Christmas in their winter celebrations.—Jennifer Steib Simmons, Anderson County Library, SC
Christmas spirit is expressed in joyous and reflective onomatopoeic exclamations in this new holiday staple, a follow-up to I Got the Rhythm (2014).
With her first yawn in the morning, the young black protagonist, coily 'fro on full display, excitedly wakes to the spirit of the season. Snowflakes flutter across bright illustrations, encouraging readers to inhale, feel, taste, and listen to all things Christmas as embodied in loving detail in the rhythmic language. The winter delights include ice skating ("SWISH SWISH"), caroling ("FA LA LA LA LA"), and the sparkling of Christmas lights ("BLING BLING"), whetting the appetites of young readers as they count down the days until Christmas. Each page sets a different scene, but the little girl, now with two adorable afro puffs, steals each one as she bops around town. Whether she's letting the steam from roasted chestnuts curl around her face or advocating for others with Santa, she makes sure to show that the spirit of Christmas is not just the traditions enjoyed, but also the actions taken to share kindness and joy with others, because "THE SPIRIT IS YOU!" Author and illustrator capture children's insistent acknowledgment of what adults often pretend not to see, in this case homeless members of the community, and they also emphasize the strength of will that allows the young protagonist to rise mightily to the occasion.
Soul-stirring and sure to put readers in a festive mood. (Picture book. 3-6)