Friday, August 19, 2011

singing along with Arnold Adoff

ROOTS AND BLUES by Arnold Adoff with paintings by R. Gregory Christie (Clarion 2011) celebrates music, specifically The Blues, an American art form. Speaking of art forms, one glimpse into this treasure of a book should convince readers of the artistic talent of Adoff and Christie. Adoff's poems sing off the page. I find it difficult to read them without reading them aloud and somehow the rhythm just flows naturally. His unique presentation of text on the page is the score for the musical poems about past greats (Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and so many more) as well as new incarnations, nightclubs, cotton fields where slaves labored, church. Adoff's words sing. Christie's paintings, stylistic and filled with dark hues, are a perfect accompaniment. Pair this with JAZZ by Walter Dean Myers. <405>

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