Drum City by Thea Guidone, illustrated by Vanessa Newton
A great choice for a musical story time, this book offer charming illustrations and a dynamite beat. The beat starts with one child banging on a pot with a whisk and spoon. Soon children take to the streets with all sorts of objects to drum with: pots and pans, kettles and cans. They march down the street, surprising grown ups with their music. The parade of people grows and grows, turning the entire city into a city of drums. Not only does this book offer a catchy beat, but it also shows the delight of music and its ability to bring people together. Drum!
Guidone’s words create all sorts of rhythm, never hesitating to be jazzy or complex. This makes the book far more interesting to read aloud than a sedate or steady beat. She begins most stanzas of her poem with the word “drum” and ends most with that word too. This gives everyone a chance to stop and restart with another rhythm. Purely infectious!
Newton’s illustrations, done in Photoshop, are filled with a city of people of all colors, ages, and occupations. Interestingly, they incorporate not only digital art but a collage effect with word clippings in unlikely places. Sharp-eyed children will also spot postage marks in the pictures. The illustrations nicely capture the busyness of an urban setting along with the excitement of the music.
Recommended, this book is one you must try with children. Just go with the rhythm, hand everyone different things to drum with, and everyone is sure to have a bang up time. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Tricycle Press.