I have always loved to dance. When I was a teenager, I would have concerts in front of the mirror where I secretly crowned myself the dancing queen. When I was in my twenties, my dance moves made me the center of attention at every party. I don’t discriminate against any genre of music, but hip-hop is a staple on my playlist. Consequently, my son has picked up my love for rhythm and dance. He is my most favorite dance partner. Like me, he carries this same love for movement and music. Nighttime Symphony by Timbaland featuring Christopher Myers illustrated by Christopher Myers and Kaa Illustration finds the beat, bass, and boom in the world around us.
In the story, a young boy has trouble going to sleep during an unnerving thunderstorm. However, he is reassured that there is nothing to be scared of. He learns that there is lyric in the storm. Raindrops tap to beats while trees sway to their music. In the story Lightning and thunder are characterized as musicians simply making melody. The story ends with the young boy waking up to a bright, sunny, clear morning.
The lesson that this story teaches us to use your fears to make music. “Don’t fear the raging storm”, but seek to understand it. The idea that thunderstorms are just nature’s way of making music is comforting and reassuring for any child. The tapping of the raindrops, the sway of the trees, and the angels singing encourage children to have courage and listen closely to the rhythm of the storm. Throughout its history, hip hop has been demonized and criticized for being violent, degrading, and even disrespectful. It is known for being a genre not appropriate for children. This book however destroys that perspective and what was once misunderstood can be seen and heard all around us. This idea that Mother Nature does not live in the traditional pastoral countryside, but that she lives in the vibrance of the city is enlightening. The idea that Mother Nature makes hip hop music is quite profound.
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