Written and Illustrated by Dave Horowitz
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005
Here comes a drummer.
Did You Know? The Olive baboon has a tail that appears broken, because half of it sticks up and the other half hangs limply.
Three monkeys take the stage for a percussion show. A baboon stands ready to play the triangle, but it’s not time for him yet. The monkeys lay down a fantastic beat and let the baboon know that his time is coming soon. Chimpanzees, lemurs, orangutans and gorillas join in with different percussion instruments. Together, they bang and crash and gong and boom and finally, baboon is in the spotlight and he closes the show with one note on his triangle. The crowd goes wild.
In a note in the front of this book, author/illustrator Dave Horowitz tells a great story about how his parents encouraged him to learn to play drums, even when his school was not offering it as an option, simply because they felt that drums would make him happy. He adds that he still plays them every day and dedicates the book to his parents. This book is definitely recommended for fans of drums or monkeys (or both, which is likely) as it celebrates different types of each. I can imagine it would be a treat to read aloud with a little one to help you make the drumming sounds.
The illustrations are done with a combination of cut paper, charcoal and colored pencils, resulting in pictures that are colorful and fun. The different species of primates are drawn with enough detail to tell what sets them each apart. I particularly love the orangutans, who ‘bang everythang,’ Purple endpapers depict all sorts of different percussion instruments, including things from under the sink, encouraging a new generation of little drummers to find ways to keep the beat. I loved this book.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that the show is best when everyone knows their part and plays it well.