The Power of The Drum

One of my most important books is “The Drum”. I wanted to find a way to write something African that was also universal, and easy to ‘get’. It had to be simple and rhythmic so that children and grown-ups could almost perform it without feeling self-conscious. I worked with Catell Ronca as the illustrator and she really delivered something special.

Besides the voice, the drum is the oldest instrument found in every culture on the planet. I think it is inspired by a heartbeat. Like the great video of the Aslatua drum below, I was after something simple that could encourage different interpretations. After all, there is so much that a drummer and a drum can do besides controlling the pace of the other instruments.

Drums come in all shapes and sizes, some even mimic speech! Similarly, all kinds of people have taken to this book and use it in many ways. I’m hoping this continues. Grab a copy if you can and enjoy! Originally published by Tiny Owl.

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I am a children's book illustrator and author of over 60 books. Trained as a graphic designer, I've worked in publishing for over twenty years. Nowadays I work in a small publishing house called Tiny Owl, am co-publisher at another publishing house called Alanna Max and publish a fantastic newspaper for children called chicken!

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