Michele Wood

I See the Rhythm of Gospe , Signed Children's Picture Book

Sale price Price $16.99 Regular price

Reprising the vibrancy of their Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner, I See the Rhythm (1998), Wood and Igus celebrate African-American gospel music along its historical transit from the Middle Passage to 21st-century “Holy Hip Hop.” Double spreads explore gospel’s evolution through slavery, the post-Reconstruction migrations north and west, gospel quartets on radio and vinyl and much more. There’s a whole lot going on, including the rhyming verse, a timeline of cultural and historical events and captions elucidating the accompanying paintings. The color-saturated art pulses with symbolic patterns and raw emotion. Display type alters with each page turn, and borders and spot art construed from facing paintings complete each teeming layout. Gospel’s symbiosis with Christian spirituality—and the artist’s own deep devotion—are key: One painting, both compelling and disturbing, depicts the crucified Christ nailed to a slave ship’s joists, flanked by men bound and contorted by chains. An accompanying CD contains five songs representing selected musical eras, with the Golden Gate Quartet and—spectacularly—Mahalia Jackson, the clear standouts. (foreword, quotations, suggested song list) (Informational picture book/poetry. 8-12)