I Got the Rhythm (in Me)

by Judy Newman

In my mind, I am a great dancer. I feel the rhythm, I follow the beat, I can move! The Twist, the Brooklyn Shuffle, the Macarena, the Electric Slide—in my head I can do them all.

But in reality, I am very self-conscious and, to be honest, not a very good dancer. I am too inhibited to really let it all out on the dance floor. Even though I study people who are great dancers to see how they move their hips and do—or do not—swing their arms, I know I am just in imitation mode.

I’ve thought about taking dance lessons, but I’m not even sure I have enough gumption for that. However, when I’m alone and blasting the music and dancing in front of the mirror, I get a sense of the joy that comes from really feeling the rhythm.

Fortunately, the little heroine of I Got the Rhythm, the Scholastic Book Clubs Book of the Week, has no such inhibitions. A simple walk through the park with her mom becomes a feast for the senses as she revels in the rhythms of her neighborhood. From seeing butterflies to hearing street performers to smelling ice cream, she sniffs, snaps, and shimmies her way down the street, celebrating all the beauty she finds in an ordinary day.

Although the little girl’s name is never mentioned in the story, author Connie Schofield-Morrison said in an interview with The Brown Bookshelf blog that her name is “Miraculous,” based on her husband, Frank Morrison’s miraculous illustrations and her miraculous story. Connie says the little girl is a reflection of the sassiness of the couple’s youngest daughter, Tiffani; the “superstar” characteristics of their oldest daughter, Nia; and every little girl who believes in making their dreams a reality.

Frank, who toured the globe as a professional break-dancer before becoming a multi-award-winning children’s book illustrator and fine artist, even added some of his old dance moves to the illustrations. 

“Ready-made for story time, Schofield-Morrison’s text pulses with a beat of its own and practically demands audiences to clap along.” —School Library Journal

“The driving beat of Schofield-Morrison’s narrative is likely to have readers bouncing and tapping right along with her.…An upbeat celebration of the senses, self-expression, and camaraderie.” —Publishers Weekly


With a simple theme of finding joy in everything around you and characters who look like they are ready to dance right out of the pages, I Got the Rhythm is the perfect book for a toe-tapping read-aloud.

Here are some additional resources to get your students moving, grooving, and ready to read:

• Take a brain break with the Book Boys as they get up and dance to the beat of the street in an original music video. Play it for your class as a brain break between lessons or after recess or lunch!

• K–5 specialist Kriscia Cabral shares how she uses I Got the Rhythm to teach her students about the different senses, science and music lessons, and more in Book Talks.

• Watch an exclusive interview with Connie Schofield-Morrison to hear how music has always been a part of her life, and who inspired the story in Behind the Scenes.

• Download a free printable activity to accompany I Got the Rhythm in Cooked Up from a Book.

At Scholastic Book Clubs, we are always trying to inspire students to see and feel the joy of reading. That’s why in addition to the $1 Book of the Week, we’ve created inflation-busting savings, exclusive author eventslive read-aloud shows, and fun contests to help teachers get their whole class on the same happy reading beat.

Please feel free to reach out anytime at judy.newman@scholastic.com. I’d love to hear from you! And let me know if you have any dance moves!



Life of a Reader

Don’t Miss the Book of the Week! Get a Free Newsletter.