Monday, January 24, 2011

I See the Rhythm of Gospel

I See the Rhythm of Gospel by Toyomi Igus, with paintings by Michele Wood, explores gospel music and its place in African American history. The text of this book almost dances off of the page with its creative use of fonts and colors. There is a timeline that runs through the book, as well as intricate and expressive artwork, weaving together the total story.

"I see the rhythm.
I see the rhythm of Africa,
the motherland of humanity.
I see the rhythm of my people, land and spirit in harmony ..."

Reading through this book will take you from 1485 - 2008 in history. The poetic prose follows the following topics: the motherland of Africa, the arrival to a New World, the experience of plantation Sundays, the hope of freedom, the jubilation of being free, the sanctified church, Bronzeville on Chicago's South Side, the harmony of soulful voices over the radio, gospel women, gospel quartets and choirs, the lament of prejudice, the time of exploration, motown and funk, gospel music moving through television, internet, and radio, and hip - hop.

There is an accompanying CD included with this book with five gospel songs on it that represent five eras in African-American gospel history: Gospel Quartets, Gospel Women, Gospel Soul, Gospel Power, and Holy Hip-Hop.

What I Like: I like the historical element of the book, and feel it is a great resource for children and teachers.

What I Dislike: I wouldn't really use this as a spiritual reference book, there was more history than spirituality in the text and timeline. I noticed a misspelling in the first page of prose. Also, there were times when I felt overwhelmed by the multitude of elements on a page spread.

Overall Rating: Good

Age Appeal: 4-8

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2010; ISBN:0310718198 ; Hardcover, 40 PGS., $16.99

Buy it Now at for $12.99

OR Buy it at for $12.23

Buy the Kindle Edition for $9.99

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