Monday, December 19

Bound for Glory by Timothy R. Botts

This is definitely a different sort of book than I normally review, but it looked neat, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Bound for Glory is a collection of spirituals which Timothy Botts presents as a way to celebrate African American music.  Each song is presented in its entirety (at least it seems to be complete songs), and Botts created illustrations to go with each.  The illustrations usually incorporate some of the lyrics, and they’re presented in a way to evoke a visual representation of the song.  For example, with the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” the image features chariot wheels, but also has flames underneath the printed chorus.  It’s a beautiful picture which blends colors, textures, and even the chosen font to depict the song.  Working with Patricia Raybon, personal reflections are offered on the songs, and they write about why the song is important to them.

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book.  I recognized many of the songs when I was a child, many of which now are widely popular as songs taught to children.  I remember learning songs such as “The Blind Man” at the summer camp I attended, even though it wasn’t presented as an African American spiritual.  There were also a number of songs I didn’t recognize, and though I didn’t know the rhythm, it was easy to either guess or search online for many of them. 

I also enjoyed just seeing the illustrations and seeing how Botts chose to represent the song.  I loved that the illustrations seemed quite diverse.  There were some I enjoyed more than others, but I liked the majority of them.  Some were more obvious in the depictions, while some seemed more subtle.  The main thing I didn’t like with some were the fonts chosen for the lyrics.  At times they seemed to bold and took away from the image behind, but that was only a problem for a few.
Songs include:
Rock-a-My soul
Where you There?
I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray
Lord, I Want to be a Christian
Down by the Riverside
I Want to Be Ready
All God’s Children Got Shoes

And many more.  If you enjoy many of the African American spirituals, you  may enjoy this book.

4/5 stars
I received this book free from Tyndale. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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