Drummer Boy of John John
By Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
A winning story filled with joyous sound effects from all the John John bands, several of which play other make-at-home-friendly instruments (the bottle-and-spoon orchestra, which goes “jingle jangle tingle tangle clink clank clunk,” has particular appeal). Lessac’s vibrant gouache illustrations tastefully balance busy collections of people and instruments against swathes of verdant grass, blue sky, and turquoise sea, the constant horizon line visually moving the story along. While it could be used straight as a story of invention or music history, it cries out for a choral performance with kids on found instruments letting cacophony merrily ring out. In addition to the explanatory note, a glossary and pronunciation guide and a list of sources are included.