The Steel Pan Man of Harlem (Carolrhoda Picture Bks Series)by Colin Bootman
Once upon a time in the city of Harlem, there was a terrible problem. Rats had taken over the city. They were everywhere - subways, restaurants, even people's homes! The mayor didn't know what to do. Then one day a stranger stepped off the subway and began playing a melody on a simple steel pan. People began to dance. The man went to the mayor and told him he could
Once upon a time in the city of Harlem, there was a terrible problem. Rats had taken over the city. They were everywhere - subways, restaurants, even people's homes! The mayor didn't know what to do. Then one day a stranger stepped off the subway and began playing a melody on a simple steel pan. People began to dance. The man went to the mayor and told him he could play many melodies, including one that would solve Harlem's rat problem - for a price. The mayor had no choice. He agreed. The man was true to his word. He played a melody to drive away the rats. But the mayor refused to keep his word. The man with the steel pan had no choice. He played the mayor another tune for another purpose. . . . A captivating retelling of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, set in the Harlem Renaissance.
Meet the Author
Colin Bootman was born in Trinidad where he spent the first seven years of his life. During this time, he was inspired by the island's rich and diverse culture. Mr. Bootman's first book, Young Frederick Douglass, was published in 1994 and received starred reviews. He has since illustrated many children's books, textbooks, periodicals, and book covers. Mr. Bootman has worked with several publishers including Random House (Follow the Leader), Harper Collins (In My Momma's Kitchen), Scholastic (Oh, No, Toto!), and Holiday House (Papa's Mark). Mr. Bootman is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor 2004, the Schneider Family Book Award 2006, the Ashley Bryan Lifetime Achievement Honor 2006, and several others. His books have won such awards as The Teachers' Choice Award, The Comstock Award, The Storytelling World Award, The Golden Kite Honor, and many others. Mr. Bootman's first written and Illustrated book (Fish For The Grand Lady), debuted in the fall of 2006. He previously illustrated Almost to Freedom, a Carolrhoda Picture Book, for Lerner Publishing Group.
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Have you heard about the Pied Piper of Hamelin, made famous by Robert Browning's poem? Author Colin Bootman, who spent his early childhood in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and at age seven moved to the United States, where he now lives in Brooklyn, remembers hearing the classic tale during a school library "read aloud." In his modern retelling of the story he sets the action in New York's Harlem, where many Caribbean folks had emigrated in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Rats are everywhere. Everyone is demanding that the mayor do something, but he doesn't know what to do. Then, one day, a stranger appears at the busy 125 1/2 Street subway station, takes out a shiny, round steel pan drum, and begins playing music. Everyone begins dancing. The steel pan drum is believed to have been invented in the Caribbean during the Carnival seasons of the late 1930s. The stranger then goes to the office of the mayor and offers to rid the city of rats for a million dollars. The mayor first balks at the price but eventually agrees. The Steel Pan Man then gets on a garbage barge and plays his instrument. All the rats jump on the barge and off they go. However, the next day the major refuses to pay the fee. What will the Steel Pan Man do? And what will happen? Children will like the intriguing narrative as well as the colorful illustrations. And, of course, there is the important message of doing the right thing and keeping one's word. I certainly recommend The Steel Pan Man of Harlem.