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Jungle Drums Hardcover – September 1, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–An oversized book with illustrations that add depth and humor to the text. Ngiri Mdogo (which means "Little Warthog" in Swahili) is teased by the bigger warthogs because of his small size, and because they are jealous of the Other Animals that live across the River and have beautiful spots, stripes, and plumes. When the wise old wildebeest gives the little warthog a set of magic bongo drums that will grant any wish, the angry Other Animals lose their striking markings, while the warthogs look fabulous in gorgeous spots, stripes, and colors. That night, Ngiri Mdogo plays the drums again. When the sun rises, the markings are on the wrong animals, and all of them are unhappy. Again, the little warthog plays the drums, and with the new day, everything is back to normal. The animals celebrate with a Grand Parade and when Ngiri Mdogo plays a solo, everyone is careful not to wish for anything. Base's lush, colorful illustrations capture the richness of jungle life. The appealing creatures are drawn accurately enough for identification, but their facial expressions and physical positions give them personality and humor. To add to the wonderment, Base has included several illustrations with hidden animals for readers to find. A note on Swahili pronunciation is included. This is a visual feast, even if bongo drums are not native to Africa.–Linda Staskus, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Ngiri Mdogo, the smallest warthog in Africa, turns the tables on both the larger warthogs and the other African animals when he plays music on magic drums. Base, the author of such books as Animalia (1986) and The Waterhole (2001), returns to the jungle and savannah, once again offering his hallmark art and witty text to engage both children and those who read to them. In this book, lushly detailed paintings of long-lashed warthogs, a blushing zebra, a bearded wildebeest, and other creatures invite kids to look closely and often. Children will have a great deal of fun figuring out whose parts belong to whom after Ngiri's drumming causes the animals' features to transfer from one critter to another. An afterword by Base will send everyone back through the pages yet again in search of the wise wildebeest that is hidden in every picture. Most of the time he's relatively easy to spot; occasionally however, kids will need patience and a keen eye to find him. Francisca Goldsmith
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810950448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810950443
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my 5 year old and it is one of our favorites. The story is interesting and the pictures are fantastic. A great plus is the fun you and your children will have searching for the hidden wildebeast. They are always easy to find! Great for a gift as well!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being an artist and art teacher, Graeme Base books are some of my favorite. I purchase every book when it comes out. The great stories, and the fantastic illustrations...and this book is not exception. Some of his best illustrations, and a great story in the ugly duckling realm with a twist or two. Highly suggest for all ages!
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By KJ on August 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In a world where there are so many differences it is nice to find literature that can be used to help children learn to accept not only others but themselves. This is a great book to open discussions for children regarding the importance of appreciating and embracing the characteristics and attributes that we have all been given and celebrate our differences rather than fear them or belittle or bully others because of them. An added treasure in the book are trying to locate the hidden and evolving animals as the story evolves. A very gifted writer and artist!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How can you not love the ingenious and gorgeously rendered illustrated books of Graeme Base? He is the penultimate modern children's literature illustrator IMO whose books belong in every child's library.
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Format: Hardcover
Children's books have long been used to shape ideas and values for kids-remember the impact that Cinderella finding Prince Charming has had on millions of women all over the world?

Jungle Drums is another classic book that teaches kids that different is just different, not better or worse. Beautifully illustrated, the book draws readers into the Jungle where unbelievable things happen to the warthogs and their rivals.

The hero is little Ngiri, a warthog, who learns valuable lessons on friendship and self-esteem.

For more books that help kids celebrate "all kinds and not just 'our' kind" check out Families are Forever Dumplings are Delicious and Tooth Fairy Tales
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All Graeme books have absolutely amazing artwork on every single page. Sometimes my son just wants to talk about the pictures instead of reading the books. However, the stories are all very fun as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered this children's book several years ago as it was on a list of recommended book for the state's early learning standards. I loved the message of it and designed a PreK program around it. The quality of the paper and hardcover seem pretty sturdy, something that can be read over and over again and still hold up. The book is age-appropriate for PreK/K and has beautiful, detailed illustrations, as well as "where's Waldo"-type picture searches at the end. I work with this age group frequently, and there is a multitude of uses for this book in teaching: self-image/self-esteem, treatment of others, animals, language, geography, and student participation. I highly recommend it for teachers and parents!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has been my 2 year old son's favorite book for a few months. He is still fascinated when the animals change. He really wants to see it happen, but unfortunately, the author chose not to illustrate the process. Still a great story with beautiful and fun illustrations. Highly recommended!
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