Cover image for The little drummer boy
The little drummer boy
Publication Information:
New York : Puffin Books, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 20 x 23 cm.

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A procession travels to Bethlahem, carrying their finest gifts to give to the baby Jesus. The little drummer boy comes along, though he is to poor to bring a present fit for a king. Instead, he plays a song on his drum for the Christ Child. Ezra Jack Keats's vivid, jewel-toned artwork perfectly illustrates this classic holiday carol.

Author Notes

Ezra Jack Keats was born Jacob Ezra Katz in Brooklyn, New York on March 11, 1916. He was a mural painter for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for three years before taking a job as a comic book illustrator. During World War II, he joined the United States Air Corp and was a camouflage pattern designer. After the war, he changed his name to make his Jewish heritage less noticeable.

He wrote and/or illustrated more than 85 children's books. The first book he illustrated was Jubilant for Sure by Elizabeth Hubbard Lansing, which was published in 1954. The first book he wrote was My Dog is Lost, which was published in 1960. His other works include Pet Show and The Snowy Day, which won a Caldecott Medal in 1963. He was also awarded the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for outstanding contributions in the field of children's literature in 1980. He died of a heart attack on May 6, 1983.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Keats evocatively portrays this story of a boy who was so poor that his gift to Jesus was his drumming. Ages 5-9. (August) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

[other by and photographs by = Words and music by]Keats's lush interpretation of the familiar Christmas song (pa-rum-pum-pum-pum) has been reissued in what must be a sharper, brighter printing than the original. Collage illustrations combine patterned paper with boldly brushed pigments to create sweeping page spreads. Facial expressions and body language provide a subtle and satisfying subtext. The melody is appended. From HORN BOOK Fall 2001, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.