We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, as well as reading challenges that we have pledged to join this year.
We have just launched our new reading theme for May-June: Walking the Literary Silk Road – China and the Middle East.
Since the main character in this gorgeous picture book biography happens to be a Chinese-African-Cuban girl, I just know that it’s perfect for our current theme.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music
Written by: Margarita Engle
Illustrated by: Rafael Lopez
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
ARC sent by Margarita Engle.
Back in the early 1930s, girls were not allowed to play drums. This musical activity was believed to be exclusively for boys/men only. This gorgeously illustrated picturebook biography is inspired by the life of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga whose insistent rhythm inside her allowed her to dream the impossible.
There are many things that young children of today take for granted – the courage to dream despite all odds is one of them. Millo held that beat in her dreams, she listened to the imaginary pounding in her mind, everything had a tap-tap-tap dancing rhythm to it – all of nature is alive with the sounds of the drum dream girl’s beat: from the waving palm trees, whirring parrot wings, to “towering dancers on stilts” – there was bounce, cadence, rhythm.
What I loved about this picture book, aside from this young girl’s tenacity, quiet resolve, and willingness to work hard for her music, is the importance of listening with heart open and spirit alive with the sounds of the world. Another picture book biography from Margarita Engle to fall in love with.