Review Blog

Nov 10 2010

The little drummer boy by Bruce Whately

cover image

Random House Australia, 2010. ISBN 978 186471992 5.
Picture book. A beautiful addition to the Christmas list, The little drummer boy is an enticing look at growing old, as the figurine on the Christmas Tree is placed on the tree each year by its owner. We see the young girl, Annie, making sure that the figurine has pried of place near the top of the tree each year throughout her childhood. Even when the family goes travelling, the figurine is taken with them. Then when she marries the little figure is still placed near the top of the tree, When her children come along, the drummer boy is as always placed on the tree. In time however, the tree becomes more and more crowded, and the figurine becomes less bright. Annie's grandchildren then see the drummer boy in his rightful place, but one day Annie moves to a smaller home, and still the tree, although much smaller than in the past, is there with him near the top. As the figurine has aged, so has Annie, but both are loved.
A realistically illustrated, wistfully told story, this will have wide appeal, stressing that Christmas time is a time of families and love, and underlining the passage of time. A wonderful antidote to the morass of sentimental offerings in Christmas books.
Fran Knight

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