I'm pretty delighted to participate this year in the Multicultural Kid Blogs' Read Around the World Summer Reading Series. Throughout the summer, MKB blog members have been sharing their favorite book recommendations to help our children travel across the globe through literature. And today, it's my turn!
There are so many wonderful books on Latino culture that I had a hard time choosing only one. In the end, I decided on a book that highlights the little-known story of a young girl who changed the world of music in Cuba with her determination and courage.
Drum Dream Girl is written by the talented poet Margarita Engle who frequently focuses on stories about those men and women who don't show up in our history books despite the tremendous impact that they had on their communities.
Drum Dream Girl tells the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban who had an amazing talent and love of drums. However at the time, girls were not allowed to play the drums in Cuba - especially not in public! But Millo summoned her courage and dared to play, paving the way for future generations of female drummers. Margarita's freestyle verse is so well written and has so much imagery that the illustrations are almost unnecessary.
However, this book is a visual feast thanks to the magnificent illustrations by the talented Rafael Lopez. The vibrant and joyous images seem to leap from the pages, responding to the rhythm of the music Millo plays on her small bongo drums. The bold colors reflect the warmth of the Caribbean island and its inhabitants.
If you are looking for an inspirational book to share with and motivate your own child, dive into the beautiful message between the covers of Drum Dream Girl.