As a follow-up to their first collaboration I See the Rhythm, Michele Wood and Toyomi Igus have teamed up to create I See the Rhythm of Gospel. The book is a colorful exploration of gospel music from the time Africans were first taken in slavery to the current trends in African-American gospel music.
Author: Toyomi Igus
Illustrator: Michele Wood
Publisher: Zonderkidz (November 30, 2010)
Recommended Age: 9 – up
List Price: $16.99
I See the Rhythm of Gospel is packed with information!
The book opens with an explanation of what “gospel” means and how that definition has created its own genre of music. The story of gospel music starts in Africa and the rhythms and drum beats that were a part of everyday life there. Gospel music travels on slave ships, makes its presence known on plantations, and in the routes of the Underground Railroad. It travels with former slaves as they seek a new life in the north and the west, takes root in sanctified churches, and Chicago’s South Side. Singers like Mahalia Jackson, Shirley Caesar, Curtis Mayfield, and Sam Cooke bring gospel music to the masses and enable future gospel singers like Andrae Crouch, Kirk Franklin, the Winans, and Lecrae to find a place in gospel music into the 21st century.
Along with the story of gospel, a time-line of American history and African Americans role in that history is included, starting in 1485 when 1000 Africans are brought to islands in the Gulf of Guinea as slaves and up through 2008 when Barack Obama is elected the first African-American President of the United States.
The information in this book makes it an essential tool for any classroom or home library. Gospel music is a huge part of America’s musical history and future. I See the Rhythm of Gospel would be a perfect book to share with children during Black History Month in February, during any study of musical history, and for anyone interested in music.
In addition to the information contained in the book, a CD with five songs is also included. These five songs represent different eras in African-American gospel history. Those eras and their songs are:
Gospel Quartets: Wade in the Water – Golden Gate Quartet
Gospel Women: I Will Move on Up a Little Higher – Mahalia Jackson
Gospel Soul ( Motown and Funk): Hallelujah Praise – CeCe Winans
Gospel Power: Jesus Be a Fence Around Me – Fred Hammond and Radical for Christ
Holy Hip-Hop: I Love You – Cross Movement
The illustrations are colorful and full of movement and depict each generation of gospel music in an interesting way. From slaves escaping with Harriet Tubman in the dark of night to CeCe and BeBe Winans performing at the Apollo Theater, each piece of artwork is inspirational. These are pictures that can be looked at again and again with a new element being discovered each time.
I See the Rhythm of Gospel can be ordered in advance from Amazon and Zondervan. It will be available November 30 from independent retailers like the ones listed here.
Eagles’ Nest Bookstore
933 College View Dr
Redding, CA 96003-3046
Crosspointe Christian Books & Gifts
646 Plumas St
Yuba City, CA 95991-4434
Jireh’s Christian Books, LLC
4340 Golden Center Dr Ste A
Placerville, CA 95667-6280
3144 G St Ste 145
Merced, CA 95340-1369
Western Christian Bookstores
998 8th St
Hayward, CA 94578
A copy of I See the Rhythm of Gospel was provided to the Examiner by Zonderkidz Publishing, free of charge. The opinions given here are 100% those of the Examiner unless stated otherwise.