“It’s the thought that counts.” How many times have you heard people say that?
Well, in The Little Drummer Boy, Ezra Jack Keats throws in whimsical illustrations with the song lyrics to “The Little Drummer Boy” in order to show people that the thought of the gift matters most. A little boy was told that a King was born and to honor him he was to bring a gift for him. But this boy is very poor, and all he has is a drum and drumsticks. Shall he play for Jesus? On his drum?
The illustrations were really nice; it showed diverse characters, and the pictures helped me imagine his journey before he met the King, because when I hear the song, all I imagine is the little boy sitting next to Jesus playing his drum.
I liked this picture book because it shows people that price doesn’t matter when you give a gift. In The Little Drummer Boy, while the three wise men are shown bringing the finest gifts, all the little boy did was play on his drum and Jesus was happy. This story comes from a very popular Christmas song that many different people sing. In our family, we really like the versions by the Jackson 5 and also Pentatonix. It’s also cool that the book has the sheet music for the song at the back, so I played it on the piano.
In the Bible, it says the three wise men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the King, one who would save everyone one day, but I was so surprised to learn that the Drummer Boy is a FICTIONAL character! He is not in the Bible. It’s a little bit of a let down.
I recommend this book to younger kids, like 3-6 years old. But it was pretty basic for an older kid like me.
I rate the book 3 out of 4 roses.
I’m so sorry you were disappointed, Elena! I think I was, too, when I learned. But it’s still one of my favorite Christmas songs. I didn’t know about the Keats book. I love The Snowy Day. I will have to check it out!
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I like the song, too. I really like the Snowy Day. Ezra Jack Keats also has a lot of other books like Whistle for Willie, which I also read.
Elena, I love Ezra Jack Keats, and did not know he wrote this book. I’m glad you posted this review! I think one of the best things about the Little Drummer Boy is that is a reminder of the role children have in all important moments in history- including the birth of Jesus. Sometimes when adults write- even in important books like the Bible- they sometimes leave out much about the kids. But, I have no doubt that children were just as profoundly impacted by Jesus as the grown ups were- back then and today!
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Thank you. Merry Christmas! I also have read other Ezra Jack Keats books like Whistle for Willie and Jeannie’s Hat by Ezra Jack Keats. And a Snowy Day, of course. Have you read those?