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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

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Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boy Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.         Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.


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Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boy Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.         Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

30 review for Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    A Margarita Engle picture book, people!!!!! Not surprisingly, I love the text--I adore Engle's use of poetry to introduce readers to various achievements by Cubans. In writing a picture book, she hit the jackpot with Rafael Lopez. His illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for reflecting the tone of the story and the country.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Stunning illustrations illuminate the pages of this beautiful biography of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke the Cuban taboo against female drummers. YES, you read that right. Even tapping your hands on resonant objects was once off-limits to the ladies. If that's not reason enough to read this book, it should be!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Girls should be allowed to do anything they want! Including play the drums! A beautifully written and illustrated book. Very rich palette of colors.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Inspired by the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who dreamed of being a drummer in a time when that occupation was reserved for boys and men, Cuban-American author Margarita Engle spins a poetic narrative about a "drum dream girl" who cannot quell her natural impulse to drum. Hearing beats all around her, in the natural and human worlds, and in her own heartbeat, the girl must dream and drum in secret, until her father finally relents and has a teacher listen to he Inspired by the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who dreamed of being a drummer in a time when that occupation was reserved for boys and men, Cuban-American author Margarita Engle spins a poetic narrative about a "drum dream girl" who cannot quell her natural impulse to drum. Hearing beats all around her, in the natural and human worlds, and in her own heartbeat, the girl must dream and drum in secret, until her father finally relents and has a teacher listen to her. Amazed at what he hears, the teacher takes her on as a pupil, eventually getting her her first gig as a drummer... Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music was awarded the 2016 Pura Belpré Award for Illustration, and it's not difficult to see why! Rafael López' artwork is absolutely gorgeous here, utilizing a deep, vivid color palette, and creating beautifully stylized scenes that capture the energy and music of the text. That text is just as beautifully realized. It is poetic, allusive, rhythmic - in short, everything it should be to capture a dreaming drummer's tale. A brief afterword gives more information about Castro Zaldarriaga, who is never named in the main text. Recommended to anyone looking for beautifully-illustrated picture-books, to those who enjoy more poetic picture-book texts, and to readers searching for children's stories about girl musicians and/or Cuban musical pioneers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Inspired by a true story, this picture book is about a girl who refused to allow societal rules to stop her from her musical dreams. In Cuba, girls were not drummers, but one girl dreamed of pounding drums big and small and making amazing music. Everyone said that only boys could be drummers though, so she kept quiet about her dreams.Everywhere she went though she could hear drumbeats that were all her own. Finally the girl dared to start drumming on real drums and she joined her sister in an al Inspired by a true story, this picture book is about a girl who refused to allow societal rules to stop her from her musical dreams. In Cuba, girls were not drummers, but one girl dreamed of pounding drums big and small and making amazing music. Everyone said that only boys could be drummers though, so she kept quiet about her dreams.Everywhere she went though she could hear drumbeats that were all her own. Finally the girl dared to start drumming on real drums and she joined her sister in an all-girl band. Her father did not approve of her drumming but eventually allowed her to play for a teacher to see if she could really drum. And she could! Engle, known for her gorgeous poetic books for older readers, has created a marvelous picture book here. Reading like poetry, the book looks deeply at a girl who refused to give up her dream to play the drums, even as she hid the dream deep inside herself. It is a book that celebrates artistic gifts even as it works to dismantle gender stereotypes and show that girls have the same artistic skills as boys do. The build up in the book is done with real skill, allowing readers to thrill at her accomplishments as her hard works comes to fruition. Lopez gives us a bright-colored glimpse of Cuba in this picture book. Filled with lush plants, starlight, water and birds, the illustrations shine on the page. Done in acrylic paint on wood board, they have a great texture to them as well as an organic quality that adds to their depth on the page. The result is a picture book that is vibrant and rich. A dynamic picture book that celebrates music and breaks stereotypes, this book will inspire children to follow their own dreams. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    Lyrical writing and gorgeous illustrations. An inspiring, empowering story for all ages. My primary students loved it. It's getting a lot of attention on our "favorites" bookshelf.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This ‘drum dream girl’, an African-Chinese-Cuban girl broke the taboo that only boys could play drums. The story/poem is lovely, filled with those wonderful drumming sounds, at first in drum dream girl’s imagination, then finally in real places. We read “the clack of woodpecker beats” and the “comforting pat of her own heartbeat”, see her listening to “the rattling beat of towering dancers on stilts.” Finally she is given permission to drum, at last all girls in Cuba would have the chance. The i This ‘drum dream girl’, an African-Chinese-Cuban girl broke the taboo that only boys could play drums. The story/poem is lovely, filled with those wonderful drumming sounds, at first in drum dream girl’s imagination, then finally in real places. We read “the clack of woodpecker beats” and the “comforting pat of her own heartbeat”, see her listening to “the rattling beat of towering dancers on stilts.” Finally she is given permission to drum, at last all girls in Cuba would have the chance. The illustrations are filled with color and drama. My favorite page shows drum dream girl imagining playing on the “big, round, silvery moon-bright timbales.” This time it’s the moon itself.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    A beautifully illustrated story based on the life of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga who breaks Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers and becomes a world-famous musician.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Mae

    Awesome story about a the girl who broke Cuba's taboo against female drummers. Poetic words and beautiful illustrations. another on my to buy list.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura Harrison

    Inspiring story with gorgeous, vibrant, original illustrations.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Betty Ortega

    * Book Summary This is the story of a little multiracial girl who loved to play the drums and her dream was to be a professional drum player but finds that it is a taboo idea because only boys are the ones who play the drums. This book takes us through her story on how she change music. *awards Pura Belpre * Grade Level/ Interest level 2-3rd * Appropriate Classroom Use I would use this book when discussing how have people change history or just as a carpet read *Student Who Might Benefit From Rea * Book Summary This is the story of a little multiracial girl who loved to play the drums and her dream was to be a professional drum player but finds that it is a taboo idea because only boys are the ones who play the drums. This book takes us through her story on how she change music. *awards Pura Belpre * Grade Level/ Interest level 2-3rd * Appropriate Classroom Use I would use this book when discussing how have people change history or just as a carpet read *Student Who Might Benefit From Reading All students; students who like to read about music * Small Group Use I would ask students to think of different ways that they would like to change the world and ask them to share. * Whole Class Use This book would be a fun one to use when discussing a social studies unit on how people have changed history. *Related Book In Genre Little Melba and Her Big Trombone *Multimedia Connections N/A

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Hansen

    I love the colors, the fantastic illustrations, the girl who wants only to drum. I love how she doesn't give up despite what she's told, and how she finally convinces the world around her to give her a chance. Again, this is one of those biographies about someone that I've never heard of, but wish I had. I found very little about her on the internet after reading this, which is a shame. Here's a girl worth remembering. I wish I could hear a recording of her drumming somewhere...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    Spoiler alert: Girls CAN be drummers <3 Also a mermaid picture. You know just how to win me over, you lovely book you.

  14. 5 out of 5

    KC

    A wonderfully illustrated poem of a Cuban born 10 yr old, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who broke all the rules by being a female drummer in 1932!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katie Clark

    Drum Dream Girl is a biography that encourages children to dream and overcome challenges. This book was inspired by a true story about a Chinese-African-Cuban girl named Millo Castro Zaldarriaga who wanted to be a drummer. In Cuba, women weren’t allowed to be drummers, but despite this Millo holds on to her dream and becomes a world-famous jazz musician. The vibrant collage style art of this book gives this book a positive tone. The book focuses on dreams, not despair. The artwork uses analogy a Drum Dream Girl is a biography that encourages children to dream and overcome challenges. This book was inspired by a true story about a Chinese-African-Cuban girl named Millo Castro Zaldarriaga who wanted to be a drummer. In Cuba, women weren’t allowed to be drummers, but despite this Millo holds on to her dream and becomes a world-famous jazz musician. The vibrant collage style art of this book gives this book a positive tone. The book focuses on dreams, not despair. The artwork uses analogy and emotion to bring the reader to understand the passion and joy that drumming gives the girl. One spread features a fantastical depiction of the girl floating with butterfly wings while beating a drum, which acts as an analogy of how music can lift the soul. Another spread features the girl looking at a winged drum in a cage, representing her forbidden passion. The language dovetails with the art to create vibrant and rhythmic narration. Each line of text is short, and when read aloud it seems reminiscent of the beat of a drum. The language used is playful and creative, and creates a lush depiction of the setting and mood. This book would be a great addition to a classroom. I believe that this book would appeal to a wide range of ages, and would be most appropriate for children grades 1-5. One great feature of this book is that it features a character from Cuba. It is always important to incorporate multicultural books into the classroom as much as possible. This book features a character who follows her dreams and overcomes challenges. Everyone has their own personal challenges, and sharing biographies is a great way to give children hope and motivation for their own future. Even though we have come a long way in the past few years, there are still social ideas of what men and women should and should not do. A story like Drum Dream Girl can help children start to identify and challenge certain social norms that exist in our society. I believe that this book would be perfect for a 3rd grade classroom. After reading the book aloud to the class, ask if they can think of any things that boys or girls shouldn’t do. One student might respond by saying that girls can’t play sports as well, or another may say that boys shouldn’t cry. Ask them to get into groups and discuss, and have them consider whether they believe that girls and boys should be able to do all of the same things. Later, ask the students to think about a time when they felt like they were expected to do something because of their gender. Ask them to write about this in their journal. I highly recommend this book. This particular biography stands out due to its vibrant and fantastical illustrations and colorful language. The end of the book provides a short historical note that gives more information about the girl in the book. As a follow up to reading this book, try find a recording of some of Millo’s music on YouTube and play it. Through listening to the recording, children will be able to experience Millo’s accomplishment for themselves.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bhebden Hebden

    I located Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez, during my international book search at my public library. This poetic book with its alluring folk-art illustrations takes one on a journey to Cuba during an era when drum playing was forbidden for girls. Through Engle’s rhythmical wording, the reader joins the passionate desire of the girl (nameless in the story) as she wonders through her daily life and dreamy world, discovering I located Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez, during my international book search at my public library. This poetic book with its alluring folk-art illustrations takes one on a journey to Cuba during an era when drum playing was forbidden for girls. Through Engle’s rhythmical wording, the reader joins the passionate desire of the girl (nameless in the story) as she wonders through her daily life and dreamy world, discovering the beauty of rhythms in everything she encounters: “She heard the whir of the parrot wings and clack of the woodpeckers beaks…and the comforting pat of her own heartbeat.” The illustrations produce a feeling of movement as the girl dances, and at times flies through her dreamy drumming excursions. She joins her sister’s all-girl dance band, but is quickly faced with the chagrin of her father. Ultimately, the girl must obtain permission from her father to drum in public and gain accolades from a music teacher to achieve her dream of being a girl drummer. The historical notation at the conclusion of the book explains that the poem is based on the true childhood story of Millo Castro Zaldarriago, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke the Cuban taboo against female drummers. Milo became a world famous musician and set forth a societal change for girls longing to be drummers on the Island of Cuba. While conducting an awards search, I discovered that Ryan Swenar had just become the 2017 recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video for his production of Drum Dream Girl. I viewed the video using Hoopla and found the “set in motion” style using the original illustrations enhanced the message of the girl’s drumming dreams. The protagonist’s motions flowed with the poetic story line and rhythmic sounds of drums, brass, and nature. The female reader’s voice had a melodic feel, which complimented the poem. I would recommend this book and video to young and old alike. For classroom purposes, this book is ideal for biographical studies, exploring the roles of boys and girls within varying cultures/traditions, and the study of poetry, for grades K-5th. Drum Dream Girl also received the following Awards/Honors: Pura Belpre Award (Illustrator Winner, 2016) Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (Honor, 2016) Charlotte Zolotow Award (Winner, 2016 Amelia Bloomer Top Ten (Commended, 2016) Americas Award (Commended, 2016)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura Anderson

    In this excellent back-in-time story, the author takes you on a journey long long ago on an island in Cuba. The Dream Drum Girl is a true-to-life biography/memoir of a little girl whose only dream was to drum at a time when girls were legally not allowed to drum. You can literally feel the girl’s passion for music as she goes to different places in her hometown just to hear the dream drums play. And as the rhythm fills the air in this true-to-life fairytale, the little girl never gives up on her In this excellent back-in-time story, the author takes you on a journey long long ago on an island in Cuba. The Dream Drum Girl is a true-to-life biography/memoir of a little girl whose only dream was to drum at a time when girls were legally not allowed to drum. You can literally feel the girl’s passion for music as she goes to different places in her hometown just to hear the dream drums play. And as the rhythm fills the air in this true-to-life fairytale, the little girl never gives up on her dream. She keeps dreaming, day and night, until one day the heavens hear her prayer. Having won the Pura Belpré Award (established in 1996, presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth), this story is special because of the diversity and power of yet it brings to the classroom. I love to find books that encourage readers to make life-changing choices in the face of difficult circumstances, let alone ones that reflect different cultures and customs. This story does just that. Told in the dream-world perspective of the dream drum girl, you could easily use this story to initiate a compare and contrast activity with other historical themes from different cultures (like Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream Speech). You could also use this book as a tool to start a unit on biographies or writing autobiographies - the sky is the limit! I would love to see a Book-Head-Heart discussion with this story. As a result of any lesson, I believe any young reader would view their own dreams differently. The Dream Drum Girl is a wow book for me because of its ability to encourage on so many levels. I wasn’t as aware of Latin-American children’s literature until I read this one. Even the pictures match the dream world the dream drum girl lives in. I would recommend this book for any young reader ages 6-12. The message of this story is inspiring and always worth remembering: any dream is worth dreaming until it comes true! P.S. Millo’s sister also wrote a book based on her shared experiences, called Anacaona: The Amazing Adventures of Cuba’s First All-Girl Dance Band. Definitely worth looking into.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Gelvin

    When you're a victim of discrimination, banging on the drums all day is a kind of work. It's inspired by the true story of a Chinese-African Cuban girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, from 1932. The story is that a girl wants to play the drums, but where she lives, people believe that only boys should play drums. So she dreams about it and listens to the music and imagines herself playing music for a long time, and then eventually she just decides she's gonna play the drums and she plays them. Her big When you're a victim of discrimination, banging on the drums all day is a kind of work. It's inspired by the true story of a Chinese-African Cuban girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, from 1932. The story is that a girl wants to play the drums, but where she lives, people believe that only boys should play drums. So she dreams about it and listens to the music and imagines herself playing music for a long time, and then eventually she just decides she's gonna play the drums and she plays them. Her big sisters, who are in an all-girl dance band, invite her to join them, but their father says no. She's very sad, but then her father decides that he's going to get a music teacher for her who can "decide if her drums deserved to be heard." The teacher is amazed and she learns a whole lot. Then the teacher says that she's ready and so she plays and then it says, "Everyone who heard her dream-bright music sang and danced and decided girls should always be allowed to play drums and both girls and boys should feel free to dream." It's really great, not just because it's inspired by a true story, but just because it shows that if you have a dream and you work toward it and have people who support you, you can go far. She doesn't let her father's rejection stop her from trying. She keeps drumming on her own, just not in public, and then her father seems to realize that she's not going to give her dream up. And what he ends up doing is more helpful in the long run, preparing her to perform in public instead of letting her try while only having been self-taught. It's a good story with a great message, with colorful, gorgeous pictures. Message: Don't give up on your dreams just because people say that they're unreasonable. For more children's book reviews, see my website at http://www.drttmk.com.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Rationale: I chose, Drum Dream Girl: How One Girls Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, because it teaches students that cultures have different beliefs and traditions. According to Adam & Harper (2016) teachers that read high quality diverse books are supporting students to value multiple perspectives, recognize unfairness, and provide model for challenging inequity. This book will promote meaningful discussions that will support student understanding and appreciation of the perspective Rationale: I chose, Drum Dream Girl: How One Girls Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, because it teaches students that cultures have different beliefs and traditions. According to Adam & Harper (2016) teachers that read high quality diverse books are supporting students to value multiple perspectives, recognize unfairness, and provide model for challenging inequity. This book will promote meaningful discussions that will support student understanding and appreciation of the perspectives and experiences of other cultures. Reflection: I made a text to world connection with this book. In the story, Drum Dream Girl dreamed about playing the drums. She could only play the drums in her dream though because on her island only boys could play drums. I thought about how in my culture we tend to have boundaries of what girls can do and boys can do. For example, most people don’t see little boys playing with dolls or dressing up in dresses, high heels, and purses as socially acceptable. Questions: 1. Remembering Where on the island did the Drum Dream Girl hear all types of different beats of music? 2. Understanding What is the main idea of Drum Dream Girl? 3. Applying What questions would you ask if you were Drum Dream Girl? 4. Analyzing How would you compare Drum Dream Girl’s dream to one of your own? 5. Evaluating Do you agree that in the beginning of the story only boys were allowed to play the drums? Why or why not? 6. Creating Role play the story. Adam, H., Harper, L. (2016). Assessing and selecting culturally diverse literature for the classroom. Practical Literacy, 21(2).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ang

    2016 Pura Belpre Winner for Illustration 2015-2016 APALA Honor Book I read this book for my International Literature and Information Resources for Children and Young Adults class: The challenges that Drum Dream Girl faced were the societal expectations that girls don’t play drums and they never will because it’s only boys that should play drums. Drum Dream Girl overcame these expectations by not giving up her drive and passion for drumming. A major theme of this picture book was determination. Drum 2016 Pura Belpre Winner for Illustration 2015-2016 APALA Honor Book I read this book for my International Literature and Information Resources for Children and Young Adults class: The challenges that Drum Dream Girl faced were the societal expectations that girls don’t play drums and they never will because it’s only boys that should play drums. Drum Dream Girl overcame these expectations by not giving up her drive and passion for drumming. A major theme of this picture book was determination. Drum Dream Girl was determined to play the drums, and play her very own drum beats. Even when her father told her that only boys should play drums, she wouldn’t give up. She kept having dreams of drum beats that she would Rafael Lopez’s illustrations in Drum Dream Girl are colorful, vibrant and show elements that are associated with Latin and South America. From the clothing that the children and adults are wearing to the architecture of the buildings, and even the way to animals are depicted. They almost remind me of Latin/South American folk art. For me the illustrations help to provide authenticity to the story visually. According to the historical note in the back, the author was inspired by the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga’s life as one of the first female drummers from Cuba. Because I haven’t read any historical books about Zaldarriaga, I can’t say that this book was entirely accurate to the last tee, however, I think in essence the book is culturally authentic and shows what Zaldarriage had to face with her drumming.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    How many girls still grow up being told that “girls can’t do that”? I know I was - not by my parents, but by others, who discouraged me from pursuing my dreams. This is a story inspired by a Chinese-African-Cuban girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who never gave up her own dream of being a drummer, and succeeded in breaking Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, becoming, at age ten, the first female to play drums publicly in Cuba. Millo was a world-famous musician by the 1930’s, even, at How many girls still grow up being told that “girls can’t do that”? I know I was - not by my parents, but by others, who discouraged me from pursuing my dreams. This is a story inspired by a Chinese-African-Cuban girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who never gave up her own dream of being a drummer, and succeeded in breaking Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, becoming, at age ten, the first female to play drums publicly in Cuba. Millo was a world-famous musician by the 1930’s, even, at age 15, playing her bongo drums at the New York birthday celebration for U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. The story is told in free verse style, echoing the music that courses through her head and heart: "Her hands seemed to fly as they rippled rapped and pounded all the rhythms of her drum dreams.” The folk-art illustrations were made by Rafael López in acrylic paint on wood board. All the images of a tropical paradise that dominated ideas of Cuba before the Communist revolution come to vibrant life in a riot of sun-drenched color. Like Chagall, López uses the metaphor of flight to show dreams, with butterflies and birds recurring elements in the pictures even when the little girl herself is not launching into the air. Other characters in the pictures reflect Cuba’s multicultural society, as does of course, Millo herself. Evaluation: The inspirational story and gorgeous pictures will keep kids (suggested age is 4-8) paging through this book over and over again.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Funk

    • Drum dream girl spends her time wishing for drums of all kinds to play, she loves the way the sound and feel. Every time she hears the sweet sound of the drums there is a boy playing. Everyone says she is not allowed to play the drums, even her father, until one day he decides to get a drum tutor for her to see if she was any good. This choice changed her life. Dream Drum Girl tells the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga who in 1932 broke the Cuban taboo of girls playing the drums. • K-4th grade • Drum dream girl spends her time wishing for drums of all kinds to play, she loves the way the sound and feel. Every time she hears the sweet sound of the drums there is a boy playing. Everyone says she is not allowed to play the drums, even her father, until one day he decides to get a drum tutor for her to see if she was any good. This choice changed her life. Dream Drum Girl tells the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga who in 1932 broke the Cuban taboo of girls playing the drums. • K-4th grade • This could be used in collaboration with the school’s Anti-bully week. It could also be used in an English or music classroom. • This book could be especially beneficial to a young girl that could be struggling with wanting to do something that is traditionally a boy thing. This book could show her that girls can do anything boys can do. • Groups can be determined by what instrument each student likes then each group can talk about that instrument and why they like it. Students can then research their instrument and give a brief presentation on the instrument to the class. • This book could be read aloud during the school’s anti-bullying week. The class could discuss girls and boys can play any instrument that they feel connected to regardless of gender or stereotypes. This applies to everything else in there are no “boy jobs” or “girl jobs”. • Other books like this include: Trombone Shorty • This book is available as paperback, hardback or ebook

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Sarah Rationale: I chose this book because it shows how some traditions in other countries can play into stereo types. Even though everyone was telling her that only boys could play drums she followed her heart and showed them she could do it. Reflection Text to Self: This book reminds me of my childhood. When I was in the 2nd grade my dad took me to the music store to pick out an instrument. We left with a trumpet. When I joined the school band I was the only girl trumpet player until high schoo Sarah Rationale: I chose this book because it shows how some traditions in other countries can play into stereo types. Even though everyone was telling her that only boys could play drums she followed her heart and showed them she could do it. Reflection Text to Self: This book reminds me of my childhood. When I was in the 2nd grade my dad took me to the music store to pick out an instrument. We left with a trumpet. When I joined the school band I was the only girl trumpet player until high school. Even in high school there were not very many girls playing trumpet. Some of the boys made fun of me and didn’t want to follow my lead when I became section leader of the marching band. Though it was hard, I didn’t quit. Eventually, I became a great trumpet player and teacher and proved to myself I could do it. Questions: 1. What was the tradition of the island for someone playing the drums? 2. How is the girl similar to you? If there something that you wanted to do, but we're told not to because you were too small or because of your gender? 3. What choice would you have made if you were in the same situation as the girl? Would you go against your father? 4. Explain why the title is Drum Dream Girl. 5. How is the illustration related to the story? 6. In small groups, role play the book. Come up with one different ending to the story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Metcalf

    "And even though everyone kept reminding her that girls on the island of music had never played drums the brave drum dream girl dared to play..." This beautifully illustrated poem takes us on the journey of one brave girl who dared to dream big! On an island of music we meet this brave girl and follow her from one no to another until one day her father decides maybe she could play the drums. This is a WOW book for me because it is about a young girl following her dreams and never giving up. We n "And even though everyone kept reminding her that girls on the island of music had never played drums the brave drum dream girl dared to play..." This beautifully illustrated poem takes us on the journey of one brave girl who dared to dream big! On an island of music we meet this brave girl and follow her from one no to another until one day her father decides maybe she could play the drums. This is a WOW book for me because it is about a young girl following her dreams and never giving up. We need to teach our children that they should follow their dreams, even when the world tells them no. Margarita Engle's final sentence in the book was, "..and both girls and boys should feel free to dream." Hard work and perseverance will pay off. I would recommend this book for K-2 classrooms. I would use this book in my classroom to have students talk about their dreams and what they would like to accomplish. Since I teach a K/1 class I would have everyone draw their dreams and then students could write in their journals. We could make a dream wall mural for our classroom to remind us to keep dreaming. I think it would also be interesting to find examples of the different types of drums mentioned in the story. Our downtown arts council has a drum circle every few months so it would be awesome to have them come in and do a demonstration for the students.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim Erekson

    Lopez' charming figures get even better when set into his mural-like backgrounds. He delivers his muralist attention to the spread as a space to be dominated by color and graphic shapes, with textured backgrounds that reminded me of stucco walls. The illustrations are what held me to the pages of the book--especially the imagined or dream sequences. Switching back and forth from landscape to portrait also changes the dynamic of the spread and the experience. Looking up instead of side to side em Lopez' charming figures get even better when set into his mural-like backgrounds. He delivers his muralist attention to the spread as a space to be dominated by color and graphic shapes, with textured backgrounds that reminded me of stucco walls. The illustrations are what held me to the pages of the book--especially the imagined or dream sequences. Switching back and forth from landscape to portrait also changes the dynamic of the spread and the experience. Looking up instead of side to side emphasizes power in these portrait-oriented spreads, whether for good or ill. I was a little disappointed I had to look into the back matter to find Millo Castro Zaldarriaga's name. But then, the text was written as a prose poem so a little departure from direct representation works. Yet the poem itself is mostly representational and narrative, so why not slide in the name? This book was a great idea, another contribution to the trend of interesting multicultural arts figures in picturebooks! Could be paired with Drummer Boy of John John for a picturebook walk through Caribbean drumming history.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I found this book through the Multicultural Trade Book Resources. I digitally listened to this book through OverDrive but also read a hard copy to see the illustrations. This picture book is based on the true story of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who went against her culture’s tradition of male only drummers. The story follows a young girl who dreams of playing the drums while all the people around tell her that only boys are allowed to play drums. Even with all the negativity surrounding her, t I found this book through the Multicultural Trade Book Resources. I digitally listened to this book through OverDrive but also read a hard copy to see the illustrations. This picture book is based on the true story of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who went against her culture’s tradition of male only drummers. The story follows a young girl who dreams of playing the drums while all the people around tell her that only boys are allowed to play drums. Even with all the negativity surrounding her, the girl continues to pursue her dream of playing the drums and performing in public. The vibrant pictures bring the story to life, as the little girl’s dreams become a reality. The background colors transition from dark to light as the girl’s dreams are pulled into the daylight. This inspiring story is perfect for showing young children that all dreams are possible and to never give up. The end of the book provides a short explanation of what the story is based on, which ties it to the real world.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Austin

    1) Book summary, in your own words (3 pts) -This book is about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a real-life famous musician, but at first, she is just a little girl with a dream to become a drummer. She has to fight a lot of discrimination because in Cuba the time she was growing up, girl's do not become drummers, that is for boys. Despite this, she pushes on and became one of the best. 2) Grade level, interest level, lexile (1 pt) -1st-2nd grade 3) Appropriate classroom use (subject area) (1 pt) -Music cla 1) Book summary, in your own words (3 pts) -This book is about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a real-life famous musician, but at first, she is just a little girl with a dream to become a drummer. She has to fight a lot of discrimination because in Cuba the time she was growing up, girl's do not become drummers, that is for boys. Despite this, she pushes on and became one of the best. 2) Grade level, interest level, lexile (1 pt) -1st-2nd grade 3) Appropriate classroom use (subject area) (1 pt) -Music classroom. -Culture unit in Social Studies 4) Individual students who might benefit from reading (1 pt) -Students who love music -Students from Cuba -Students with big dreams 5) Small group use (literaturecircles) (1 pt) -Students could read or look through pictures and discuss how they can relate to Millo. 6) Whole class use (read aloud) (1 pt) -Carpet reading 7) Related books in genre/subject or content area (1 pt) -Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson 8) Multimedia connections (audio book, movie) available (1 pt) -Audio book available.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    Drum Dream Girl is an inspirational biography about a young multicultural girl by the name of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Millo grew up in Cuba in the 1930s and was passionate about playing the drums, but girls were not allowed to play the drums. Boys were the only chosen to play this instrument. Her heartwarming journey is told through the use of free verse poetry and show’s how one girl’s courage changed music forever. Drum Dream Girl would be appropriate to use as a read aloud in second or thir Drum Dream Girl is an inspirational biography about a young multicultural girl by the name of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Millo grew up in Cuba in the 1930s and was passionate about playing the drums, but girls were not allowed to play the drums. Boys were the only chosen to play this instrument. Her heartwarming journey is told through the use of free verse poetry and show’s how one girl’s courage changed music forever. Drum Dream Girl would be appropriate to use as a read aloud in second or third grade. This story will not only inspire girls but boys as well to follow their dreams and never give up on something you are truly passionate about. Since the story is set in the 1930s, this book could provide a history lesson in which students compare and contrast the lives of Cubans in the 1930s to present day. This book could also be used to talk about equal rights for women and cultural differences within the United States and Cuba. This book would be a great addition for middle elementary classroom libraries.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Molly Fitzsimons

    This picture book is a poem that tells the story of a young girl in Cuba in the 1920's who dreams of playing the drums. She is constantly being told that girls are not allowed to play the drums. She continues to dream and practice until her father decides to get her a music teacher to see if she really has talent. The story's poetry form evokes the rhythm of drums to help the reader feel and hear what the drum dream girl is feeling when she plays the drums. This illustrations of this book also h This picture book is a poem that tells the story of a young girl in Cuba in the 1920's who dreams of playing the drums. She is constantly being told that girls are not allowed to play the drums. She continues to dream and practice until her father decides to get her a music teacher to see if she really has talent. The story's poetry form evokes the rhythm of drums to help the reader feel and hear what the drum dream girl is feeling when she plays the drums. This illustrations of this book also help to immerse the reader in this little girls dreams which is very powerful. This book could be used as a read aloud in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. Students can discuss following their dreams and breaking out of gender norms. You could also use this book to learn about music from other cultures and listen to Cuban music as an extension activity. Since this poem is based on the true story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, you could listen to recordings of her music as an extension. The book also demonstrates that children are capable of big changes even at a young age.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Cuba is an island full of wonderful music, but this beautiful picture book shows how hard one girl had to work to be true to her musical self. Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who was of Chinese, African, and Cuban descent, dreamed of "pounding tall conga drums / tapping small bongó drums, and boom boom booming / with long loud sticks." But in 1930s Cuba, drumming was taboo for girls. Millo was not deterred, playing her drums every chance she can, even if it was in her own head. Finally, her father soft Cuba is an island full of wonderful music, but this beautiful picture book shows how hard one girl had to work to be true to her musical self. Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who was of Chinese, African, and Cuban descent, dreamed of "pounding tall conga drums / tapping small bongó drums, and boom boom booming / with long loud sticks." But in 1930s Cuba, drumming was taboo for girls. Millo was not deterred, playing her drums every chance she can, even if it was in her own head. Finally, her father softened and brought a teacher to listen to Millo's drumming--a teacher who was so impressed that he allowed her father to have courage to break the social taboo. I just love how Millo's joy comes through in the illustrations. López captures a visual rhythm, the way that Engle does in her poetic text. This beautiful, poetic picture book will inspire children today to follow their own dreams, even if society around them scorns them.

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