Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dreaming of Drumming Delights

Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lòpez

Drawing dreams has always fascinated me.  This story treats dreams on two levels: first in the “I have a dream” sense and second in the sleep-time dream sense.  Here the artist is called upon to render both. Rafael Lòpez’s interpretation is beautiful. It adds color and charm beyond the text.  And that’s saying a lot.  The text is poetic.

On an island of music
in a city of drumbeats
the drum dream girl
of pounding tall congo drums
tapping small bongo drums
and boom boom booming
with long, loud sticks
on big round, silvery
moon-bright timbales.

This story of a girl in a sexist society who wants to do what only boys are allowed to do treats the sexism in a modern way. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the girl is allowed to prove herself worthy of training.

The joy and pleasure of this tale come from the combination of rhythmic language and interpretive art.  The combo make this story a treat as a read-aloud.

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