Thursday, December 31, 2009

CUMBAYAH by Floyd Cooper

Floyd Cooper

I grew up singing the CUMBAYAH or "Come By Here" as a child and so when I saw this children's book on the display table in my local public library, I had to read it and include it in this blog.

We still sing "CUMBAYAH or KUMBAYAH or KUM BA YAH" as I have also seen it written as a song of inspiration and togetherness in my Presbyterian Church .

The cover of this beautiful and poignant children's book represents how the world should be... Where children of all races worship, sing, and live together in peace and harmony. The pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. The colors are soft earthy hues representing all colors of diversity!

The story begins with children of all races singing in a circle to the words, "Cumbayah, my lord, cumbayah!"
The next photo depicts an Native American man singing to the words, "Someone's singing, Lord, cumbayah..."
We then see children in bed the bed sleeping and falling asleep under the moonlit sky to the words, "Someone's sleeping, Lord, cumbayah." We see older children casting a net for fishing to, "Someone's working, Lord, cumbayah...."

Next a mother and father are comforting their child to, "Someone's crying, Lord, cumbayah..."

Children are laughing and playing in a tree to, "Someone's laughing, Lord, cumbayah..."

We see a child perhaps in a tunnel who is hiding his face upset to, "Someone's hurting, Lord, cumbayah.." Cooper's pictures are so realistic that we are in that tunnel feeling that young child's pain... "Has he been abandoned? " Has he been hurt?" "Is he missing his parents?" Is he homeless? We don't know... We can empathize that he is hurting.

Next we see all manner of children dancing and singing and having a great time! What great fun!!!!!!!!!! They are dancing together as others are looking on.

People walk by as a mother and child wait for people to drop coins in their plate on the ground. Many people just walk by rather than giving them money... This is to the words, "Someone needs You, Lord, cumbayah."

We then see a plethora of diverse children and adults singing together, "Someone's praising You, cumbayah." This could be the heavenly choir!

The book ends with children of all races holding multi-colored flags above their heads to the words, "Oh, Lord, cumbayah."

The music score for the song "CUMBAYAH" is included in the front and back of this lovely book!

I have been singing this familiar hymn since I was about three years old and was singing it while I wrote this blog!!!!!!!

I loved this book! You will have a warm feeling inside when you read this book. It should be in every school, public, and home library! Floyd Cooper is a master writer and illustrator. What a wondeful treat!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the link to the book on Amazon:

Here is the link to his web site:

HAPPY READING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until the next time!

A children's book a day, keeps the scary monster away!

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