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An inspirational, joyous celebration of poetry, art, and rhythm, tracing the history of African-American gospel music and the poets, singers, and thought leaders who have fearlessly and soulfully contributed to the spiritual and social evolution of America.
Clap Your Hands, created by the dynamic author and illustrator team of Toyomi Igus and Michele Wood,winners of the Coretta Scott King Award for I See the Rhythm, shares the African American history of gospel music that has courageously broken all color barriers, influencing both worship and popular culture in America for hundreds of years.
This spellbinding blend of poetry, art, history, and music also includes a running timeline of all historical milestones—from the first slaves to President Obama’s inauguration. This powerful and poetic read bursts with vibrant artwork and is rich in personal notes and information to further any history buff or music enthusiast. Readers of all ages will be captivated by this informative and inspirational blend of poetry, art, and music that honors gospel music with its proper, influential due as reflected through the journey of African Americans.
Clap Your Hands includes:Notes from the author and the illustrator sharing their personal inspirations and influences, as well as their research on the roots and evolution of Gospel music.Historical note about the events covered in the book exploring the cultural importance of gospel music throughout historyFurther reading section, discography, and discussion questions to encourage learning and engagement.
A Note From the Publisher
“Clap Your Hands uses poetry to chronicle the lineage of gospel music in America, beginning with the celebration of music and deities on the African continent prior to enslavement and concluding with the modern-day gospel. Each double-page spread spotlights a distinct era in time. The poem is the centerpiece of each spread, while vibrant watercolor illustrations depicting beautiful mosaics of gospel-singing Black people are eye catchers as well. Though visually appealing, this title would be better aimed toward middle-grade readers, given the many text-heavy features, such as captions summarizing each era and a running time-line banner of major events in
African American history. A Where’s Waldo –type figure hidden within each illustration is a fun visual element. Though rich with history, the poetry tends to fall flat with predictable sing-song rhymes, but nevertheless, this is a necessary title documenting a segment of American history that is often untold in books for young people. Despite the minor shortcomings here, readers will still revel in having learned how gospel has influenced our nation today.” — Booklist, Feb. 7, 2020, Melanie Kirkwood