Black history month may be over, but the fact that we all need to educate ourselves and children never ends. Some say that we shouldn't need a month devoted to such things as "black history" because the history should be widely known and understood. Sharing a book like the one below can ensure a basic foundation of black history here in the USA.
There is a new book put out by Zonderkidz called I See the Rhythm of Gospel written by Toyomi Igus and illustrated by Michele Wood. Personally, I think this book is great and filled with tons of facts-including a timeline from 1485 to 1998. This book teaches children about some of American history as inspired by gospel music. It discusses more than just slavery and Civil Rights. Each page has a poem that begins, "I See the Rhythm of ...) Each page focuses on a certain period such as Our Hope (hoping for freedom through the Underground Railroad) and Gospel Quartets. Each page has a few dates and facts included too, for the time line. The illustrations are vibrant and bold. (I do prefer the illustrations inside the book to the cover art.) The poems are much too complicated for a child under 6 to understand, in my opinion. I See the Rhythm of Gospel includes a five song CD, too. (I did not get the CD for review.) According to Amazon, this book is for children ages 4-8; however I think it is much more suitable for ages 6-10. It certainly would be an asset for a teacher and family to use for children of that age. I would spend much time discussing it even with a 6-8 year old.
Zonderkidz publishes plenty of lighthearted books, too! If I Were a Mouse is the perfect example. This book is not about mice. It's about a child's imagination! A child's adventure unfolds as he pretends. He considers what would happen if he were a mouse, owl, squirrel, chickadee, and cat. In the end he is thankful and knows that God made him, and nothing could be better than being "me." Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Marsela Hajdinjak-Krec, it is a very cute book with a good message. I think children with vivid imaginations would appreciate a book like this that they could relate to, while others would be encouraged to imagine just a bit more.
I thank Zonderkidz for sending these ARCs for review purposes.
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