I SEE THE RHYTHM OF GOSPEL

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)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-310-71819-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2010

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A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers.

BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI

From the Becoming Ali series , Vol. 1

Two bestselling authors imagine the boyhood of the man who became the legendary boxing icon Muhammad Ali.

Cassius was a spirited child growing up in segregated Louisville, Kentucky. He had a loving home with his parents and younger brother, Rudy. Granddaddy Herman also was an important figure, imparting life lessons. His parents wanted him to succeed in school, but Cassius had difficulty reading and found more pleasure in playing and exploring outdoors. Early on, he and Rudy knew the restrictions of being African American, for example, encountering “Whites Only” signs at parks, but the brothers dreamed of fame like that enjoyed by Black boxer Joe Louis. Popular Cassius was especially close to Lucius “Lucky” Wakely; despite their academic differences, their deep connection remained after Lucky received a scholarship to a Catholic school. When Cassius wandered into the Columbia Boxing Gym, it seemed to be destiny, and he developed into a successful youth boxer. Told in two voices, with prose for the voice of Lucky and free verse for Cassius, the narrative provides readers with a multidimensional view of the early life of and influences on an important figure in sports and social change. Lucky’s observations give context while Cassius’ poetry encapsulates his drive, energy, and gift with words. Combined with dynamic illustrations by Anyabwile, the book captures the historical and social environment that produced Muhammad Ali.

A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers. (bibliography) (Biographical novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-49816-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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Tris is a charmer, and readers will root for him all the way.

THE DOUGHNUT KING

From the Doughnut Fix series , Vol. 2

Twelve-year old Tris Levin has come to love the tiny upstate New York town of Petersville, where his family relocated from New York City in The Doughnut Fix (2018).

He cannot keep up with the demand of his booming doughnut business. He and his partner, Josh, decide the solution is to acquire an extremely costly robotic doughnut-making machine, but how to make it happen? Petersville’s shrinking population is causing it to lose the post office, and the library and school are at risk as well. An effort to make the town a foodie destination with Mom’s Station House restaurant and Tris’ Doughnut Stop as mainstays is just the beginning of a renewal plan. Tris reluctantly enters a televised kids’ cooking contest to try to win the big prize while advertising his town. Readers view the events and characters entirely through Tris’ thoughts as he narrates his own tale earnestly and honestly, learning much about himself. He makes and loses a friend, fellow contestant Keya, an Indian girl with whom he has lovely discussions of the Yiddish language and his family’s few Jewish traditions. (The book adheres to a white default.) His takes on the highs, lows, and draconian demands of the contest, hosted by the evil Chef JJ, are both hilarious and a spot-on spoof of reality shows. There are some surprise twists and a satisfying outcome.

Tris is a charmer, and readers will root for him all the way. (recipes, acknowledgements) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5544-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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