Like a Hundred Drums

Overview

It started quietly, with a small flutter of leaves on the old oak tree.

No one noticed at first: not the wren or crow, not the cow or pig, dog or cat, not the children playing in the shade. But when the first gust of wind—full of that storm-fresh scent—reaches them, the quiet comfort of a soft summer day is about to turn into a day of wind, darkness, and loud noises from the sky.

Crack! Boom! Quick, hide!

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Overview

It started quietly, with a small flutter of leaves on the old oak tree.

No one noticed at first: not the wren or crow, not the cow or pig, dog or cat, not the children playing in the shade. But when the first gust of wind—full of that storm-fresh scent—reaches them, the quiet comfort of a soft summer day is about to turn into a day of wind, darkness, and loud noises from the sky.

Crack! Boom! Quick, hide!

Beautifully written and illustrated with radiant paintings, this spare story captures the drama, fun, and thrill of a summer thunderstorm.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Griessman’s poetic voice and Monks’s soft-hued, folksy paintings combine to describe the anticipation of a storm, its dramatic arrival, and the peaceful aftermath. . . . This gentle book is perfect for sharing."—SLJ School Library Journal
Children's Literature - Danielle Williams
The world can be a frightening place for children. They learn new things every day, some of which can be frightening and overwhelming. One of the scariest experiences children can have is facing a sudden change in the weather. The suddenness of a spring thunderstorm sweeping over a small farm frightens three children, making them seek shelter at their grandmother's side. But the children are not the only creatures who are startled by the sudden storm. Though they feel the storm approach, the wren, the cow, the cat, and the dog have to run for cover when the storm breaks as well. But just as suddenly as it arose, the storm passes and everything is a bit newer than it was before. The lyrical prose describes the anticipation they feel as the storm approaches and describes the storm simply and effectively, managing to make the reader feel at ease at the build-up and fury of the storm, and relieved and renewed at the storm's passing.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Griessman's poetic voice and Monks's soft-hued, folksy paintings combine to describe the anticipation of a storm, its dramatic arrival, and the peaceful aftermath. It is a serene summer day on the prairie, but the animals sense that nature has something in store. As the leaves flutter in the breeze, the wren lifts her head and the crow flaps his wings: "It was coming. Oh yes, it was coming." The sky changes from blue to purple and the cow swishes her tail. The perspective continues to switch from critter to critter. Then the humans become aware that something is brewing, noting the weather change just before a raindrop falls and the first lightning bolt-represented by a full-page illustration-strikes. Each creature finds an appropriate form of shelter and comfort, including the children who run to the safety of their grandmother's arms. After the calm returns, "the wonder of the storm" remains deep in the animals' hearts and in the children's minds, "For everyone knew-it would come again." This gentle book is perfect for sharing during weather units. Use it with Jane Yolen's Before the Storm (Boyds Mills, 1995) to inspire descriptive writing on the topic or in partnership with Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake (Philomel, 1990) to soothe thunderstorm anxiety.-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT GUY, Ginger Foglesong. Go Back to Bed! illus. by James Bernardin. unpaged. CIP. Carolrhoda. 2006. PLB $15.95. ISBN 1-57505-750-6. LC 2005015002. K-Gr 2-At bedtime, Edwin adamantly asserts that he is not sleepy. Each excuse for not settling in (too hungry, too warm, too thirsty) takes him downstairs, where he finds his parents engaged in an unlikely, wildly imaginative scenario. For example, when he is "roasting" in his room, he creeps downstairs and discovers a frozen wonderland with his mother ice fishing and his father bobsledding with penguins. He is led back upstairs and a window is opened. In bed again, Edwin simply cannot get comfortable. When he creeps through the woodsy living room, he finds his bear in a cave and goes back to his bed with the stuffed animal, quietly watches the rising moon, and falls asleep. Well-placed rhyming couplets and bold, full-bleed spreads convey the universal problem children face in settling down to sleep. The vibrant illustrations capture the nighttime atmosphere. Edwin is an appealing figure with tousled brown hair and an expressive face. An additional purchase.-Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When a big storm threatens, all the residents of the farm get an inkling that it's on its way. A panoramic overhead view of the farm shows a typical beautiful day. Then, a simple fluttering of leaves alerts the wren, then the crow, that something is coming. This inkling spreads quickly across the farm, to the cow and the pig, the cat and the dog, even a mouse in the tall grass. The storms builds, too; a single drop of rain, then lightning, and finally the downpour, which two young children watch along with Grandma, in her rocking chair on the porch. After the storm, both children and animals come out to feel the "newness" of their surroundings. Griessman's prose is lyrical and evocative, yet accessible to young listeners. Monks's dreamy illustrations, which combine oil paints, pastels and crayons, are the perfect complement. A terrific offering, simple but spectacular. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618558780
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/12/2006
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Annette Griessman lives in Indiana, where, across the flat farmlands, she witnesses the full magic and drama of summer thunderstorms. This is her first book for Houghton Mifflin.
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