JASON RAT-A-TAT by Colby Rodowsky


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10
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With some help from a perceptive grandpa, the unathletic middle child in a sports-centered family finds his bliss. Jason’s parents are coaches, his big brother plays baseball, his younger sister’s on a soccer team—even the dog plays ball. So is Jason bored when he has to tag along to endless games and practices? Not at all, for there are clouds to watch, a fort to build with his best friend, and always, always, rhythms in his head to beat out with whatever comes to hand. Unable to think beyond the playing fields, Jason’s parents are bemused by his lack of interest in sports, but Grandpa, seeing what’s up, brings him a snare drum. Jason’s in heaven, until he tries to capture the many beats he hears, and produces only noise. Not being born yesterday, however, Grandpa has also signed Jason up for lessons, and come that fall, the school’s band has a proud new drummer. In sketchy black-and-white art, Peck gives her lanky figures benevolent expressions, reflecting Jason’s patient response to his parents’ concern, and their willingness to not force the issue. Rodowksy (Clay, 2001, etc.) gives a young musician-in-the-making a realistic range of other interests while posing and resolving a common family issue without resorting to lectures or heated confrontations. A well-crafted, low-stress tale for any young reader who marches to the beat of . . . (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 8th, 2002
ISBN: 0-374-33671-7
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2002


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