Pokko and the Drum

  • Title: Pokko and the Drum
  • Author: Matthew Forsythe
  • Illustrator: Matthew Forsythe
  • Publisher: A Paula Wiseman Book, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
  • Publication year: 2019
  • Brief Summary: From Simon & Schuster-“The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals —first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf—and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father’s voice when he calls her home?”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I don’t know if this could be used for any sort of curriculum, but I do think this book has humor (much like Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back) that children could appreciate and learn from. In this School Library Journal article from Elizabeth Bird, she mentions that this book can be looked at as a “female leader” book, and I think this is a refreshing take on this book.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it –I really like Forsythe’s subtly colored illustrations. I like the use of building tension when turning the page, as when Pokko has to go to into the quiet forest, and realizes it’s far too quiet to not play her drums. I think the humor in this book makes this a standout from other animal picture books. I also wanted to include this short video from The Horn Book where our professor is presenting Forsythe with the 2020 Boston-Horn Book Honor Award for Picture Book.

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