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Children's LiteratureThe drumming of the djembe is a way of life in Jamari's village; every day, since Jamari and everyone in the village can remember, its beat has shaken the ground beneath their feet: "BEDE BADA BOOM KABEDE, BEDE BADA BOOM KABEDE, BEDE BADA BOOM KABEDE." Although Jamari enjoys the drumming for its music, he suspects that it might be a tired tradition, but Baba Mdogo, the village drummer, warns Jamari that it is the beating of the drum that maintains their peaceful way of life. Without it, he warns, "the sky would turn black and the ground would grow hot and begin to melt beneath our feet." When Jamari becomes a man, the task of the village drumming is passed on to him, but, as the old traditions are pushed aside for new ways of living, Jamari forgets about the drum and its important place in village life. It is not until Baba Mdogo's words come true that Jamari realizes the importance of the drum and finds the courage to restore its faithful beat to the village. Accompanied by rich, culturally-appropriate illustrations reproduced from painted ceramic tiles, this contemporary fable is presented in the strong language of the oral storytelling tradition. Although more specific indications of place and culture within Africa are not identified, this multicultural picture book is an excellent general introduction to African culture, art forms, and tradition. 2004, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre, Ages 5 to 12.