Hip Hop Speaks to Children (and their parents)

I thought I knew what hip hop was, but after picking up the kids’ CD-and-book set Hip Hop Speaks to Children, I have a whole new appreciation for this diverse and often moving art form of “poetry with a beat.”

Edited by poet, writer and activist Nikki Giovanni, this children’s book gave my decidedly white family a glimpse of what it means to grow up black in America–not in some dry, textbooky way, but through incredibly creative poetry and a toe-tapping beat. With fifty poems from the likes of Maya Angelou and Ja Jahanes on colorful, full-page illustrations, my kids were delighted to pore through the pages while I read aloud.

But to really make the poetry come alive, I turned on the companion CD so the kids and I could bop around to Rapper’s Delight and strut our stuff to Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First.” I tear up every time I hear Oscar Brown Jr.’s “Dat Dere,” which sweetly talks about the swift passage of childhood, and of course we are always moved to hear Dr. King reciting “I Have a Dream.”

Cool Mom Picks Pick of the Year badgeNo matter how you feel–or think you feel–about hip hop or poetry, this is one book that should be a must-have for every home. Don’t miss it. -Christina

Hip Hop Speaks to Children is available on Amazon.

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.

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