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Drummer Boy Hardcover – October 2, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; First Edition edition (October 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039925174X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399251740
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 11.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #916,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3–This story, a riff on The Little Drummer Boy, tugs at the heartstrings and offers a few exciting moments, despite some improbable coincidences. However, the real star here is Long's luminous acrylic art, which gives a real sense of scale and place. On a cold winter's day, a little toy drummer boy in a snappy red uniform mysteriously appears on a child's doorstep. The boy loves the drummer and spends a lot of time listening to him play, but a mishap sends the little drummer on a wild adventure all around town, where he plays his drum and brings peace to every listener he comes across. Finally, the toy ends up in a cemetery, where the boy finds it near his grandfather's grave. He takes the drummer home and, filled with the Christmas spirit, places him at the feet of the baby in the Nativity scene on the mantel. A handsome, if not essential, purchase.–Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

An illustrator of distinctive talent, Long ventures into the author arena with this holiday picture book based on the Christmas classic “The Little Drummer Boy.” In the honored tradition of lost-toy tales, Long’s story unfolds when a magical figurine—a regal drummer whose companionship and soulful percussion offer comfort to a lonely child—is accidentally cast out with the trash. The drummer boy braves a string of harrowing encounters with wildlife, a steep fall from a bell tower, and the blustery winter weather the only way he knows how—by dutifully playing his drum. Captivating acrylic illustrations elevate the sometimes meditative cast of the tale with crisp winter scenes in an elegant blue and gray palette. The final pages, which show a glowing Christmas hearth and the drummer boy playing in a nativity scene before the outstretched arms of the baby Jesus, are sure to ward off any remnants of the story’s winter chill. Grades K-2. --Kristen McKulski

More About the Author

I have always been a huge fan of the the American School painters of the 1920s and '30s and I was particularly inspired by Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. I am also drawn to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) muralists. Many of these artists were from the Midwest, like me, and I felt a connection to them. They were storytellers.

That's what I like to do - tell stories. When I plan out the illustrations for a book, I pretend I'm making a movie. The words are like a screenplay and I'm choosing which scenes to bring to life.

Before THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD I never viewed myself as someone who would paint trains with eyeballs and cute little purple elephants. I began realizing who my audience is: little children who would actually be holding one of my books. I thought hard about the books I loved from my own childhood. THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD was always one of my favorites, as was THE POKY LITTLE PUPPY, THE STORY OF FERDINAND and Virginia Lee Burton's books. I began thinking about creating books that, like these, might someday become a child's favorite. This is where the idea for OTIS started.

I approach both writing and illustrating enthusiastically. If I'm going to illustrate a manuscript that someone else has written, it's got to be something that I love. I have to love a story enough to do it and make it mine. I hope that doesn't sound overly egotistical. But I feel that the book becomes as much mine as the author's, and as much the author's as mine.

For about a dozen years after getting out of school, I did illustrations for greeting cards, theater posters and magazines. But you never meet your audience when you do a picture for a magazine and it's not really the product - you're just decorating the product. In book publishing, on the other hand, the book is the product. After illustrating my first book, I knew I loved children's publishing right away. I discovered that people cared - teachers, librarians, booksellers and kids. And I got to meet my audience.

This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I'm honored that several books that I've illustrated have received awards. Angela Johnson's I DREAM OF TRAINS won the Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators' Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration. TOY BOAT by Randall DeSeve was awarded the 2007 Publisher's Weekly Cuffie Award for Favorite Picture Book of the Year and the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Picture Book. Walt Whitman's WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER was a Golden Kite Honor Book and also won the 2004 Parents' Choice Gold Award. I've also received two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators.

I live in Cincinnati with my wife and two boys, and two Weimaraners. If you'd like to learn more about my books, you can visit me at www.lorenlong.com.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
My children, ages 5 and 3, ask for the book every night.
E. England
The independent reading level is probably upper 3rd grade and above.
White Fang
The illustrations are fabulous and the story is very well written.
MandiR

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Haynes on November 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loren Long's Drummer Boy is MAGICAL! I ordered a copy for my mother who saw in the newspaper an illustration from the book back in the summer, and for my 2 1/2 yr. old daughter. They both LOVE it! Being an artist myself, I had seen some of Loren's illustrations
but had no idea how beautifully they could illustrate the Christmas spirit. I would recommend the book for
children and adults who love art and heart warming Christmas stories.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. England on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loren Long is fast becoming one of my favorite illustrators and now demonstrates that he can storytell beautifully as well. This is a story that can be understood on many levels - as a simple story about the travels of a Christmas toy, or on a deeper level as an analogy of the love Christ brings to all of us during this time of year. The drummer boy is illustrated in Long's humbly charming fashion familiar in many of his characters (such as the clown in "The Little Engine That Could" and the boy in "Toy Boat"). My children, ages 5 and 3, ask for the book every night. I'm sure we'll be reading it long after Christmas is over.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Kremsner on May 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was first drawn to Loren Long's work at a shopping mall. His book "Toy Boat" was faced outward toward the window. The artwork was so moving that I had to go in and give it a look. When I perused through the pages of the beautiful book, I realized that this was the wonderful creator of the artwork for "Mr. Peabody's Apples."

Drummer Boy is another addition to Mr. Long's list of vibrant and wonderful compilation of illustrations that make a book, only this time he was enabled to draft his own text. The adventures of the drummer boy are exciting and the fluid prose makes it an enjoying read.

Loren Long has become the top illustrator on my list. His plays with shadow and light and softened main characters draw me in to each page. And my children also share a love for his work. His books are pulled from the shelf time and again to be read and for the pleasure of gazing upon each and every image.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shopper on November 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely book, illustration-wise. I bought it for my 4.5 year old and 3.5 year old. They love the pictures, but the story seems to be a bit sophisticated, and scary, for them. They were a little scared of the rat, and distressed that the drummer boy is so lonely. The piercing with a thorn and graveyard scene were difficult to explain to young children, and my kids are at the age where they want to know and understand EVERY detail! So, while I love the art, I think the story is more appropriate for older children (over 6 maybe) who will not be as scared by some of the characters and can get the complexities of the story a bit better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By White Fang on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The book, "Drummer Boy" by Loren Long is a masterpiece. The full page color illustrations in the Chris Van Alsburg style captivates the reader. This wonderful version of the traditional Christmas tale has an ironic ending. The story recounts the exciting journeys of the little toy drummer boy. That journey begins when a little boy receives the toy drummer boy as a pre-Christmas gift. One day the toy drummer drops into a waste can by accident and is eventually deposited in the trash. The garbage truck picks up the trash and deposits the drummer boy into the city dump. A captivating journey of journeys begins with the drummer boy meeting a rat. On the drummer boy's journey he meets with various other characters and eventually ends his journey in an ironic setting and is reunited with his original owner. You will want to read the book to fully experience the travels of the drummer boy, the characters he meets along the way and how he returns to his original home and is placed in the manger scene where he can play his drum for the baby Jesus! This is truly one of the bright stars of juvenile Christmas literature. All children and adults would enjoy this delightful tale. The independent reading level is probably upper 3rd grade and above. However, younger children would love to have the story read to them.
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