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I See the Rhythm

by Toyomi Igus
Illustrated by Michele Wood

Published by Children's Book Press, 1998
ISBN: 0-89239-151-0

Ages 9 - 14

Joyful paintings visualize the musical roots of centuries beginning with once forbidden drums of many African heritages to the beats of the 1990s. "Fathered by funk and nurtured by mother Africa, I see the rhythm of hip hop and the rhythm lives on in me," writes Toyomi Igus, author of The Two Mrs. Gibsons. Each page spread of this full-color history of black music can be enjoyed in multiple ways. A time line in a small typeface provdies selected historical background for each section: Origins, Slave Songs, Birth of the Blues, Ragtime, Jazz Beginnings, Swing Jazz, Jazz Women, Bebop, Coll Jazz, Gospel, Rhythm & Blues/Soul Music, Black Rock, Funk, Rap and Hip Hop. Igus previously collaborated with artist Michele Wood on the book Going Back Home, an autobiographical essay featuring the artist's personal roots. In this new venture, Wood has hidden a little girl in every scene. Sometimes this child is a baby on a mother's back, or she might be playing the piano. Although that is a small detail, it's one that can increase the visual pleasure of a singularly handsome volume, especially for children young enough to feel the power of Wood's words but not quite ready for the background information about history. CCBC categories: The Arts (GMK; Mar 9)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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