Clap Your Hands: A Celebration of Gospel by Toyomi Igus. Illustrated by Michele Wood

Clap Your Hands: A Celebration of Gospel

Spirited, poetic text and vivid, energetic illustrations brimming with Christian symbolism bring glory to God in this children’s picture book that celebrates gospel music.

Young readers are encouraged to “Clap your hands to the rhythm. / Clap your hands to the rhythm of Africa. / . . . to the rhythm of a New World . . . / . . . to the rhythm of Plantation Sundays… / . . . to the rhythm of gospel women,” and more. Some rhythms proclaim joy and thanksgiving; others shout out pain and humiliation.

Throughout Clap Your Hands, children are introduced to individual singers, composers, and groups who put their stamp on gospel music. They will learn how singing spirituals and gospel music helped African-Americans, enslaved and free, to rise above their trials and to claim lives of dignity.

A detailed timeline of events pertaining to African-American history accompanies each poem and illustration. Though recommended for children ages 4-8, the book is better suited for children 8 and older. (Zonderkidz)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.