April 23, 2015
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison
I Got the Rhythm
by Connie Schofield-Morrison
illustrated by Frank Morrison
A young girl walks along with her mother taking in the rhythms all around her. She hears a drummer drumming, sees a butterfly opening and closing its wings, and sings along with a group of kids listening to music at the playground. From their front stoop where they enter the sidewalk to the playground, more and more people join in the joyous dance that is this young girl’s life. As the kids stomp and beat their way across the playground, it reminded me of an impromptu dance number in a piece of musical theater.
The text for this picture book is super simple with short sentences followed by rhythmic pairs of words like snap snap and shake shake.
For me, it was Frank Morrison’s oil paintings that brought the story to life with the rich color of life on a busy city block. I loved the combination of street musicians, ice cream cart and urban playground brought to life through the textured color of oil paints — nothing else would have been this rich or alive.
Notice that the author and illustrator have the similar names? That’s because they are a husband and wife team. This book is also an excellent example of what both text and illustration bring to the picture book story telling process.
Technically this is the story of one small girl and her lively approach to the world but it is a story that will appeal to a wide range of children who love to move. This definitely is not a bed time book; there’s just too much going on. Use this book as a launching point for discussions on sound, rhythm, movement and neighborhoods. Add this to the library shelf if you are looking for books that represent a diversity of characters. If you read it as story hour, don’t be surprised if an impromptu chorus lines wends its way through the library.