A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019
A Today Show Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Book for Youth Editors’ Choice 2019
A Boston Globe–Horn Picture Book Honor Book 2020
An NPR Favorite Book of 2019
A Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book
A Quill & Quire 2019 Book for Young People of the Year
“Extraordinary.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Inspirational.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Laugh-out-loud funny.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“Will tickle kids and adults alike.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An instant classic.” —Quill & Quire (starred review)
From E.B. White Read Aloud honor artist Matthew Forsythe comes a picture book about a magical drum, an emerald forest, and the little frog who dares to make her own music.
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?
Pokko and the Drum is a story about art, persistence, and a family of frogs living in a mushroom.
"The biggest mistake Pokko's parents ever made was giving her a drum," begins this dark, hilarious tale by Forsythe (The Brilliant Deep). As Pokko marches across the colorful bed the frog family shares, her sticks poised for big blows, her father expresses deep misgivings. The next day, he prevails upon her to head outside "We're just a little frog family that lives in a mushroom, and we don't like drawing attention to ourselves" and she does, venturing into the surrounding woods alone. After Pokko resists the forest's silence, "tapping on her drum," a banjo-playing raccoon falls in behind her; as Pokko plays louder, a rabbit with a trumpet appears. An eager wolf joins, too, with less-than-musical results ("No more eating band members or you're out of the band," Pokko orders). As the drummer plays, the parade grows, and pretty soon, it's a throng, joined even by her noise-averse dad. Forsythe's tapestrylike spreads give the tense, funny sequences a lush elegance marked by amusing visual asides, painterly interiors, and a triumphant parade. In embracing one's own beat, Pokko discovers, extraordinary things can happen surprising things, upsetting things, and glorious things, too. Ages 4 8.)