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DRUMMER BOY by Loren Long


by Loren Long and illustrated by Loren Long

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-399-25174-0
Publisher: Philomel

“The Steadfast Tin Soldier” meets “The Little Drummer Boy” in this original, sentimental tale that carries a wistful tone unusual in Christmas stories. A few weeks before Christmas, an unnamed boy receives a mysterious package containing a small mechanical toy soldier with a drum, which quickly becomes his favorite toy. The drummer boy accidentally falls into the trash, leading to a snowy odyssey through the city and surrounding countryside. He is carried off to other locations by an owl, a dog and a raccoon, ending up in a snow-covered cemetery. On Christmas morning the drummer boy is found by his owner when the boy visits his grandfather’s grave, and the toy soldier is taken home and placed in the family’s Christmas crèche, where he plays his best song for the Christ Child. Though the plot is a touch maudlin, Long’s striking art and an extremely large trim size coalesce into a successful whole, with dramatic double-page spreads showing the transporting animals and a remarkable snowman looming large against the tiny size of the small but steadfast drummer boy. (Picture book. 4-7)