'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 6 December 2010

Review: The Little Drummer Boy

Bruce Whatley may be one of Australian’s best loved children’s illustrators, but he’s also a dab hand at penning books, and in this glorious new book released just in time for Christmas, Whatley has produced a heartfelt classic in the making.

At the beginning of this tale, we are taken back in time to the early part of the last century, when Annie’s grandfather creates for her a beautifully hand-carved and painted little drummer boy ornament for the Christmas tree. Annie adores this little man, and places him at the very top of the family tree.

As Annie grows up and travels the world with her parents, her beloved little drummer boy accompanies her on her travels, never failing to share Christmas with the family.

When Annie herself grows older, she shares the ornament with her own children and her children’s children… always placing the drummer boy on the tree for her family to admire. And even though the drummer begins to look a little worn and faded, she knows it’s because he has been well-loved.

Each Christmas, the little drummer boy watches over Annie from her festive tree… but then one Christmas, there is no Annie…

I would love to know if this book was modeled on anyone in Whatley’s life, as the lifelike illustrations are not only gorgeous, they seem to be imbued with the loving history of people long past… maybe we shall ask Bruce to tell us right here on Kids Book Review.

But in the meantime, this heart-stirring book should be read with tissues on standby… like the whimsical, precious ornament that follows Annie through her long and wonderful life, this beautiful book epitomizes the spirit of Christmas the true meaning behind not only the festive season, but also… family.

WIN! A copy of The Little Drummer Boy - right here on KBR!

Title: The Little Drummer Boy
Author/Illustrator: Bruce Whatley
Publisher: Random House, A$24.95RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2010
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781864719901
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book