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LI’L DAN, THE DRUMMER BOY by Romare Bearden


A Civil War Story

by Romare Bearden & illustrated by Romare Bearden

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-86237-7
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Recently discovered, this is Bearden’s only work for children. Li’l Dan was a slave on the Hollis plantation, and every day after work, he came to hear Mr. Ned play his African drum. And each day Mr. Ned taught Dan how to play that drum. Eventually, Dan makes his own drum, perfects his skills, and goes off with the Union army. He becomes a hero when his drumming warns his troops of an impending attack from Confederate troops. Li’l Dan is congratulated by General William Tecumseh Sherman and is invited to join the army’s drum corps. Mixed-media art enhances the text and serves as a fine introduction to Bearden’s work. An introduction by Dr. Henry Louis Gates and a CD with Maya Angelou’s reading of the story are included. An important find for the world of children’s literature. (Picture book. 4-8)