Cover Image: Welcome to the Cypher

Welcome to the Cypher

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Member Reviews

“See rap is a style that is infinitely free.  All you need is a beat, and your soul’s poetry”

Welcome to the Cypher by Khodi Dill, illustrated by Awuradwoa Afful is a rhythmic, rhyming rap picture book empowering readers to become emcees who can raise their voices in many ways:  in joy, in self-expression, in the path to equality.  Readers are told that they are “welcome in the cypher” - the cypher being a gathering or circle of rappers (or beat boxers or breakers).

This morning, I remotely joined author @khodidill during his @foldkids presentation titled “Writing Rhymes with Khodi Dill”.  I loved that he played beats during the time young writers were creating stanzas.  Teachers and Parents, you can still register (go to @foldkids for info) to have access to all the workshops until Dec. 7, as well as tomorrows Live workshops.

Thanks to @annick for the #netgalley electronic advance copy.  Welcome to the Cypher can be pre-ordered - it’s release date is coming up - November 16, 2021 (looks like the date might be November 30 in the US).

#WelcometotheCypher #NetGalley
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'Welcome to the Cypher is a welcome addition to a market that is largely under represented. It is a hip hop, R&B picture book that disappointingly falls a little flat. It should be lively and full of rhythm, fluid poetry.  And,  while there are some delightful parts it lacks a cohesive, consistent flow. And, reading it aloud feels clunky instead of fun.
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This book was ok but the ARC copy that I received was hard if not impossible to read. Some of the font color was really faint and not bold and dark like most font colors in e-books. Therefore, its hard to give this one a thorough review.
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This was an excellent book. The rhyming was so fun, and the illustrations were amazing! It was a fun read for sure.
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The pictures in this book are fantastic and this would make a great addition to a class poetry unit. A nice book to show children a different way they can express themselves.
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Words have power, no matter how they are used. A wizened narrator invites the reader to join a dynamic group of children as he explains the nuances of the art form that is rap. Together, the children experiment with words, beatboxing, and rhythm as they prepare for an open-mic performance of their newfound skills. Though it can be intimidating to speak one’s mind in front of others, these brave children step onstage and pour their hearts out. Told through poetic phrasing, this story teaches how rap works while demonstrating it directly. Relaxed and familiar jargon is intermixed with elevated language to create an approachable and rich tapestry of sound as this book is read aloud. Intentional words are emphasized in bold to draw readers’ attention to them, enhancing the performance element described by this story. Dynamic visuals accent the story and are presented in richly vibrant, cheerful, and blocky chunks of color. The children are seen fist bumping, embracing, and standing proudly as they let their voices ring out. Each image pairs expertly with the text, blending together in a balanced and enjoyable way. Profound messages of support, encouragement, and freedom of speech are echoed throughout the book, signaling to all readers that their voices matter. Beautifully executed, young readers will love diving into the world of rap through this book. This auditory and visual journey is an excellent addition to read aloud collections for elementary school-aged readers.
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Loved this story! The lyrical rhyming and illustrations were great! Perfectly shows kids how to express themselves.
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"Welcome to the Cypher" is a book about community and rap! A neat concept. The illustrations are eye catching and the words are simple rhymes. This book would work well for a story time to introduce them to rap and poetry.
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This wonderful picture book celebrates rap with lyrical rhymes and vibrant art. You can really feel the soul of this book, and I would highly recommend it! It's perfect for reading out loud, and encourages self-expression and community support.
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