The Little Drummer Boy, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats is by far, the most anticipated Advent/Christmas board book in our household. Each page is illuminated with Keats's majestic artwork. The combination of both mediums, paint and collage, bring an exotic flair to the familiar narrative.
For those unaccustomed to the story, it is about a boy who notices kings traveling from distant lands and follows them to the stable. He watches the kings lay precious gifts beside the baby. The poor little drummer boy has no present to give. So he plays from his heart, a simple song for the King.
The Little Drummer Boy song is broken up line by line in the book, which makes it easy for young readers to follow along. My 3 year old can read this book from memory! It's one of her favorite books to bring into bed for "quiet time."
|One of Keats's beautiful illustrations from the book.|
The kings are depicted looking exceptionally regal in their fine robes and headpieces. Just take a look at those outlandish and unusually-shaped gifts! It's a refreshing change from the more common western-looking magi. Keats's beautiful collage of textures and color bring a warm richness to every page.
Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum,
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum.
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
|Sweet Baby Jesus waves "hi" to the drummer boy.|
Our girls love to sing along, "Pum, pum pum!" and nod their heads to the rhythm of the traditional carol of the little drummer boy. When they hear this song play on the christmas CD we own, they drop what they are doing and run to the kitchen to sing it with me.
|"Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum..."|
I absolutely love everything about this book and am eager to own a few more titles from Ezra Jack Keats's collection. When it was premiering on Amazon, the girls and I watched The Snowy Day, (an Amazon Original Holiday Special, based on the award-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats). It was terrific! Maybe that will be the next book we add to our advent book collection.