Drum Dream Girl
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(published 3.31.2015) 48 pages
A True Tale
with A Cherry On Top
A uthor: Margarita Engle
and Illustrator: Rafael Lopez
C haracter: Milo Castro Zaldarriaga
O verview from the jacket flap:
"'Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music and rhythm, no one questioned that rule until the drum dream girl. She longed to play tall congas and small bongos and silvery, moon-bright timbales. She had to keep her dream quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that boys and girls should be free to drum and dream.
Inspired by a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers. Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere."
T antalizing taste:
"When she walked under
wind-wavy palm trees
in a flower-bright park
she heard the whir of parrot wings
the clack of woodpecker beaks
the dancing tap of her own footsteps
and the comforting pat
of her own
and something more: The Historical Note at the back of the book explains the background for this inspiring poem: "In 1932 at the age of ten, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga performed with her older sisters as Anacaona, Cuba's first 'all-girl dance band.' Millo became a world-famous musician, playing alongside all the American jazz greats of the era. At age fifteen, she played her bongo drums at a New York birthday celebration for U.S president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, where she was enthusiastically cheered by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. There are now many female drummers in Cuba." This wonderfully lyrical book certainly makes me hope I will someday hear female drummers, in person in Cuba!