JAMARI’S DRUM by Ebony Bynum

JAMARI’S DRUM

Age Range: 7 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

An elder’s warning that the great djembe drum must be beaten every day or “the sky would turn black and the ground would grow hot and begin to melt under our feet,” turns out to be exactly prophetic in this original tale, co-written by a professional drummer and illustrated with small but striking ceramic tile paintings. Young Jamari inherits the village’s drum, but what with the distractions of daily life, soon puts it away—until the eruption of a nearby volcano recalls him to his duty; rather than join the general panic, he sits down to rap out “BEDE BADA BOOM KABEDE / BEDE BADA BOOM KABEDE / BEDE BADA BOOM KABEDE,” and, miraculously, the volcano quiets. There’s a whiff of magic here that hints at a lesson or metaphor, but it’s the drum’s beat, the catastrophe narrowly averted, and the strongly drawn African scenes, done in warm browns and golds, that will stay with younger readers. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-88899-531-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2004




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