Welcome to the Cypher

Annick. Oct. 2021. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781773215631.
K-Gr 3–Dill invites readers to enter the cypher, “that great circle of rap, spanning every street corner, every inch of the map,” and find their voices and let them flow as the rap beat brings their truths to the world. A man of angular, stylized limbs, of bronze skin and long white locs, beckons all into a creative space of like-minded youth expressing their thoughts and feelings through rap music. Some of the young people might be tentative at first, but with the encouragement of the group and the infectious beat, their inner sentiments begin to flow. With a cadence and beat in the text itself, and accompanied by energetic illustrations, this will make an affirming addition to a poetry or music unit embracing the power of rap and the collective creative process that takes place in the space of the cypher or other collaborative space.
VERDICT A great choice for introducing rap music and the poetry found within it, encouraging readers to find within themselves “a voice that represents me!”

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