The Distant Talking Drum: Poems from Nigeria

Overview

Like the drum of its title, this stunning collection of poetry calls us to a Nigerian farming village, where the haunting beauty and simplicity of life are captured in Isaac Olaleye's playful and passionate poems. Gorgeous, full-color paintings invite us to join this sumptuous feast for our senses.

Poems describe life and customs in a Nigerian village.

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Overview

Like the drum of its title, this stunning collection of poetry calls us to a Nigerian farming village, where the haunting beauty and simplicity of life are captured in Isaac Olaleye's playful and passionate poems. Gorgeous, full-color paintings invite us to join this sumptuous feast for our senses.

Poems describe life and customs in a Nigerian village.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Olaleye's (Bitter Bananas) nostalgic poems commemorate a peaceful Nigerian farming village. ``Like a stream,/ The love/ For my village/ Flows,'' he says. Various poems describe Uncle Fao Bio the ``village tales-teller,'' the look of a tropical rainstorm, weavers, and children playing hide-and-seek.'' Lessac's (Not a Copper Penny in Me House) vivid, primitive watercolors are bordered with simple designs and filled with stylized motifs: rain spills from the sky in dotted lines; as children listen to a tale about a tortoise, it is pictured above their heads in a cartoon cloud. Olaleye is at his best when describing the ``palace of fragrance and tastes/ That delight the senses'' (for example, the ``blizzard of butterflies,'' the ``clattering of dried gourds''), but less successful in explanatory passages (``Once a year all the villagers dance./ Excitement is in the air./ Music is in the air./ Food aromas fill the air''). Such moments aside, these rhythmic, detailed, musical poems provide a welcome and informed look at the customs and people of the ``wide, wild, and wonderful rain forest.'' Ages 6-9. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
"The rain forest is my home, a palace of fragrance and tastes that delight the senses." This excerpt from one of the 15 poems that make up this fascinating picture book gives a glimpse into the graceful, non-rhyming verse that appeals to the senses in a uniquely colorful way. Paired with vivid, childlike paintings, the first person text leads us through descriptions of a Nigerian rain forest village. The reader is able to experience many everyday activities and events, including: listening to Uncle Fao Bio's stories, working in the garden, going to the market and playing hide and seek. This volume should appeal to a wide age range of readers, anyone who appreciates the chance to look in on a far away place and culture.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Olaleye welcomes readers to the world of the African rainforest, where nature's abundant green umbrella comes alive through alliteration and imagery. Here, residents make a spicy soup that makes their lips smack and eyes weep. They do laundry by the stream where the sun sucks the clothes ``crisp dry.'' The smells of the marketplace, its colorful tents, the ebony sky, and children at play are all vividly described. As he did in Bitter Bananas (Boyds Mills, 1994), the poet gives youngsters an intimate look at the area's lands and people. This time he uses eloquent free verse to share the simplicity and the complexity of his native Nigeria with an ease of expression that celebrates everyday life. Lessac's full-page gouache illustrations, done in a folk-art style and bordered in Nigerian designs, provide a perfect complement to the appealing poetry. With rainforest units abounding, this book is a beauty that libraries should have.-Dot Minzer, North Barrington School, Barrington, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563979415
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 0.21 (d)

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