Review by Booklist Review
This title, coded for emergent readers, is part of the Dive into Reading line of early chapter books, and features a smiling group of racially diverse, neighborhood friends. Henry dreams of being a rock star, but practicing his drums in the apartment disturbs his mother as she tries to work. So he goes outside, where he plays lively rhythms to which his friends dance in a game of freeze dance. Later, when she's finished her work, Henry and his mom dance in the living room until it is time for bed. This is a sweet, simple story of an ordinary day that needs no adornment. Ng-Benitez's watercolor illustrations bring it to life with expression, color, and movement. Instructions for how to make your own drum will be a big hit, too.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-Henry loves playing his drums loudly like a rock star, but his mom has work to do and would really prefer some quiet. So Henry takes his old drum to play outside, where his friends are jumping rope. Soon everyone is having a great time playing freeze dance together. Later that evening, Henry's mom finishes her work and invites Henry to join her in silly dancing until bedtime. This emergent reader is broken up into three short chapters with high frequency words and familiar vocabulary. The illustrations depict a variety of diverse kids with cheery faces. The story concludes with instructions for readers to make their own drum. VERDICT This is a joyous ode to unplugged entertainment and everyday life. Recommended for libraries looking for additional beginning-to-read books.-Jessica Marie, Salem Public Library, OR © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Set in the diverse urban neighborhood introduced by Paula Yoo and Ng-Benitez in Lily's New Home and Want to Play (both 2016), this newest entry focuses on Henry, a would-be rock-star drummer. Henry's mother needs quiet to work, so Henry takes a single drum to the front stoop. An intentionally diverse cast of characters stop playing jump rope to freeze dance. Henry is white. Lily is dark-skinned with curly hair. Mei's, Padma's, and Pablo's names suggest ethnically diverse backgrounds; all have light-brown skin and dark hair, and Pablo wears glasses. Repeating the same few words guarantees success for new readers. Uncluttered layout and a sans-serif typeface also help, while digitally enhanced watercolor illustrations provide context clues. Each of the three brief chapters can stand on its own, though they also form a cohesive if simple story arc when read in one sitting. Henry seems unrealistically willing to adjust his behavior so as to not disturb his mother; his mother is all too happy to break into dance when her work is complete. In the simultaneously publishing Block Party, Padma is embarrassed when her mother brings Indian lentil soup to the neighborhood festivities. But her friends seem to like it, so Padma decides she can be proud of the soup and of her heritage. Each book closes with an "extra": instructions to make a homemade drum in Music Time, and a recipe for lentil curry soup in Block Party. An earnest and conscientious effort to add diversity to new readers' choices. (Early reader. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.