Pokko and the Drum
The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals —first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf—and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father’s voice when he calls her home? Pokko and the Drum is a story about art, persistence, and a family of frogs living in a mushroom.

Pokko and the Drum Details

TitlePokko and the Drum
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 1st, 2019
PublisherSimon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
ISBN-139781481480390
Rating
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Music, Animals, Humor, Fiction

Pokko and the Drum Review

  • Betsy
    January 1, 1970
    Matthew Forsythe did not attend art school. Ask him where he learned his stuff and he’ll recommend that you read High Focus Drawing by James McMullen. He’s worked on picture books before, lots of them, but until now he’s never written and illustrated one himself.Matthew Forsythe has been holding out on us.Every once in a while I encounter a picture book that gives me so much to chew on that I have to put it down for a while and come back to it after a few weeks. The theory is that when I do Matthew Forsythe did not attend art school. Ask him where he learned his stuff and he’ll recommend that you read High Focus Drawing by James McMullen. He’s worked on picture books before, lots of them, but until now he’s never written and illustrated one himself.Matthew Forsythe has been holding out on us.Every once in a while I encounter a picture book that gives me so much to chew on that I have to put it down for a while and come back to it after a few weeks. The theory is that when I do this all the little bits and pieces will fall into place and make sense to me. However, when I came back to Pokko and the Drum I found that here was a picture book that required multiple rereadings. There’s something going on in this book. A wry, whipsmart, funny tale that actually may have a thing or two to say about female empowerment. Or not? It’s easy to read too much into this book, but I’d say it’s also just as easy to read into it everything that you need it to be. Intelligent writing for kids that will not just appeal but engage and entice. This, we need more of.It’s not that Pokko’s parents haven’t screwed up before. They’re a kindly frog couple but when it comes to giving gifts they have an odd tendency to hand their daughter presents that may not always be appropriate. This time, they’ve given her a drum. Pokko likes her drum. She likes to play it. She likes to play it so much that one day her father has her go outside to play, but softly. Pokko goes, but soon her drumming (which is not soft) attracts a crowd of musical followers. The crazy thing about Pokko and her drumming? She’s really good! And even her dad and mom will have to come around to that fact, one way or another.Every summer I teach a six-month writing class to teens at my library and one of the topics I always make sure to cover is the opening sentence. In a book of any sort, whether it’s a YA novel or a comic, that first sentence should be carefully considered. To prove my point I’ll wheel in a big truck of advanced reader galleys of young adult titles and we’ll have fun comparing and contrasting their first sentences. But until I read Pokko and the Drum I’d never seriously considered the possibility of looking at the first sentences of picture books as well. Yet the first sentence of a picture book is, in many ways, of even greater importance than that of a novel because in a book that’s only 32, 40, or even 64 pages, every word counts. That’s why it’s such a delight to open Pokko and find yourself greeted by, “The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her a drum,” followed by, “They had made mistakes before.” It sets the tone for the entire book. A tone that, happily, is matched by the art, step by step, blow by blow.Matthew Forsythe is Canadian by all accounts. He has, however, worked in Dublin, London, Seoul, and L.A. And, in a bit news that snaggled my brain good and hard, he apparently was the lead designer on the Cartoon Network’s much lauded show Adventure Time. Of all the facts that I have written here, perhaps that one is the most pertinent to Pokko. You see, there is a sensibility to this book that causes it to stand apart from the massive pack of picture books published in a given year. It’s hard to pinpoint, but if I had to give a name to it I’d have to say that the book feels like it was steeped in wry, British humor, pacing, and timing. The jokes, which land every time, are often of a visual nature. It is funny to see a small frog on a llama. It is funnier to eventually notice that the llama is lying on two pairs of frog legs, evidently squished beneath. Humor that works in such a way that both kids and parents get it and love it is exceedingly difficult to attain. This book does it so easily, it feels like it’s not even trying that hard.The book has a beautiful mastery of deadpan that should probably be studied by future generations on how to do it right. First off, let’s examine Pokko herself. Forsythe has summarily rejected the Arnold Lobel method of froggy eyeballs and given his heroine round rather than horizontal pupils. He has also given her a face that remains almost expressionless throughout the story. I say “almost” because at critical moments there are two things that can occur when Forsythe zeroes in on a frog’s face. The first time that this happens is when we learn that the forest Pokko walks through is quiet. “Too quiet”. Suddenly the image that fills the page is Pokko’s face in close-up, her eyelids half-closed in a look of, not fear, but some kind of skeptical breakdown of the fourth wall. She’s clearly looking right at the reader and saying, on some level, “Oh, please.” The second time we get a similar close-up it happens with Pokko’s father. He hears the music outside growing louder. “And louder”. Compare this shot of the father in the second shot to the first. Do you see the difference? It’s subtle but Forsythe has taken what appears to be a black colored pencil and swiped a bag under the father’s eye. That single, solitary line says more than a page of words ever could. One little swipe. A world of sorrow. For all that the humor feels very contemporary, there are some ancient tropes at work on these pages. Consider the fact that the inciting incident in this book is that Pokko enters the woods. The woods, traditionally (as Stephen Sondheim would be the first to tell you), are where the darkness and danger lie in wait for you. When your hero is warned of something, as Pokko is warned not to play her drum loudly outside because “we don’t like drawing attention to ourselves”, and that warning is disregarded, you expect punishment. And woodlands are good places to dole out such punishments. So without so much as hinting at a villain or antagonist, Forsythe is using kids’ innate understanding of storytelling rules to heighten the tension. But let me just stop a moment here and let you in on something else that I’ve noticed about this book. After an initial read I liked it very much but I found myself vaguely wondering, “But what is it really about?” If it wasn’t about anything, why did I like it so much? So I went back to it and examined it a little more closely. Pokko is a female frog, first off. She enjoys making a lot of noise. Her father urges her to go outside but to be quiet. So the female child does so, but soon she makes a big ruckus. When she does so she inadvertently becomes a leader. Other animals follow her. Making music, sure, but following just the same. Now look at what happens when the wolf, who is following in the back, eats the rabbit playing the trumpet. Instantly, Pokko is having none of that. My daughter, who is eight, wondered why the wolf's appetite was placed in the book at all and my initial thinking was that it was just there to be cheeky. But then I took a closer look and saw that here you have a female character leading. One of her followers acts inappropriately and instead of ignoring it or shying away, she confronts it dead on and reads it the riot act. “No more eating band members or you’re out of the band.” Because, you see, Pokko knows perfectly well that a follower that eats your other followers may just be biding its time until it bites at you as well. The end of the book finishes with her parents being swept along with the others and her father, who initially told her to be a good quiet girl, realizing that she’s really good at what she does. Now I don’t want to say that Forsythe wrote this with the intention of making some kind of commentary on girl leaders, but I’m not not saying it either. In this book, the frog persists. Is it odd that I keep looking at Forsythe’s art, trying desperately to find somewhere between the lines an explanation of why his style works as well as it does? I’ve read interviews with him and letters of advice he’s given to other artists. It doesn’t help much. So I try reading the words that other reviewers have written about him, but they appear to be just as stumped as I am. They call his art “glowing” evoking “lush elegance” and that his images are “tapestrylike”. The word that comes closest to what I want to say is that overused term “luminous” which is close but not quite right. “Luminous” implies gentleness, but what Forsythe is wielding here isn’t gentle. Or, at the very least, it isn’t ignorant of that skinny sliver of darkness that underlies even the sunniest day. After reading this book to my kids, I tried to explain to my daughter why I liked it so much. “I like it when authors take risks.” Well, what did I mean by that? “I mean . . . a lot of what the author (who is also the artist) is doing here isn’t … safe, I guess. This book doesn’t go in a predictable direction. It doesn’t assume you know where it’s going to end and make you feel good by fulfilling that expectation.” She didn’t know what I meant and, frankly, maybe I didn’t either. All I know is that this is a book that leaves wide open the very real potential for tragedy, but instead ends up making its heroine stronger than ever. “And you know what?” her father says at the end of her book. “I think she’s pretty good.” I think this book is pretty good too. And I think all the kids who read it will think it's pretty good too. For ages 5-8
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  • Rian *fire and books*
    January 1, 1970
    There is quite a bit of funniness for the adults - and the kids too, I guess - as well lovely illustrations, quirkinesses, gender role reversals, and a loud loud drum. If you like Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett you will also love this as the illustrations and storyline are similar and absolutely stunning.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like the #1 rule of parenting is probably "Never give your kid a drum," but that's exactly what Pokko's parents do, and the results are... Not what you would expect! Beautifully-illustrated and chock-full of deadpan humor and musical community, POKKO is a magical ode to marching to the beat of your own drum.
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  • paula
    January 1, 1970
    Caldecott. Calling it.
  • Laura Harrison
    January 1, 1970
    Perhaps one of the most beautiful picture books ever created. Not exaggerating. I have had a long career in children's literature and I know my stuff! The book almost appears to have light emanating from it. So gorgeous. It is funny as all heck (the rabbit in the book might not think so), and kids will adore it. Note to the author- bring back the rabbit in a sequel! Find a clever way to do it. It will be awesome!
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  • Rcltigger
    January 1, 1970
    Pokko's parents had made mistakes as all parents do, but buying her a drum was their biggest one yet. One day, her father suggests that she take the drum outside but to be quiet because they didn't like to draw attention to themselves. And so the story takes off. I especially like the twist with the wolf but I won't spoil it here!Beautiful illustrations complement this winning story.
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  • Megan McCloud
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this! I thought it was so funny!
  • Inge
    January 1, 1970
    Really fun and funny, good read-aloud fodder.
  • Michael Fitzgerald
    January 1, 1970
    Nice illustrations - the frogs are reminiscent of Arnold Lobel, and there is lots of color. The story, while occasionally humorous, meanders rather aimlessly.
  • Margie
    January 1, 1970
    Parents are not perfect. They are as flawed as the rest of us humans. They, for the most part, try their level best to raise an individual or individuals who will reflect the best parts of each of them. Their aim is to nudge their youngsters to realize their full potential, and, hopefully, make the world better for themselves and everyone in it. What is probably most startling and wondrous to parents is when their objective is reached. Even more surprising is when it happens in an unexpected Parents are not perfect. They are as flawed as the rest of us humans. They, for the most part, try their level best to raise an individual or individuals who will reflect the best parts of each of them. Their aim is to nudge their youngsters to realize their full potential, and, hopefully, make the world better for themselves and everyone in it. What is probably most startling and wondrous to parents is when their objective is reached. Even more surprising is when it happens in an unexpected way. Pokko And The Drum (A Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, October 1, 2019) written and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe follows the rise to forest fame of a young frog. My full recommendation: https://librariansquest.blogspot.com/...
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  • Erin Buhr
    January 1, 1970
    I remember when my brother started playing the trumpet so I empathized with Pokko's parents in this story. I liked the sparse text and the way Pokko just cheerfully beats away on her drum. For me, the story got a little lost somewhere in the middle. It found it's way back though and I loved seeing Pokko's father come around to appreciate her musicality. A sweet book. One that definitely makes you want to play some music and march.
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  • M. Lauritano
    January 1, 1970
    I have been waiting to read this book since Forsythe shared an image of the frog, some time ago, if I’m remembering right. Sadly, my expectations may have been too high. I don’t think I had pre-imagined any specific story about this drumming frog, but I believe the intrigue lay somewhere between the serious, intent expression and the jovial, almost harlequin-esque, outfit. The art in Pokko is par for the course excellence, alongside all Forsythe’s other books. It is the story and the writing I have been waiting to read this book since Forsythe shared an image of the frog, some time ago, if I’m remembering right. Sadly, my expectations may have been too high. I don’t think I had pre-imagined any specific story about this drumming frog, but I believe the intrigue lay somewhere between the serious, intent expression and the jovial, almost harlequin-esque, outfit. The art in Pokko is par for the course excellence, alongside all Forsythe’s other books. It is the story and the writing here that fails to enchant me.My main issue is the inclusion of the parents. I’m not sure why their opinion matters so much. Not being able to hear each other, in a dryly executed joke, is a little funny at first, but gets stale quickly. The concluding fact that father frog thinks his daughter might have talent doesn’t really do much for me. I’m more interested in Pokko. Besides telling a wolf off, how does the drum change her? Sidenote: I feel like that wolf got off the hook a bit too easily.I realize that the drum may not be meant to be taken literally. Maybe it represents something else Pokko’s parents gave her. Self-confidence? ALL THAT SAID, I wish there had been some one sentence nod to the musicality of her drumming, rather than a vague celebration of loud noise. I mean, drums can be played quietly too! Maybe living in New York has lowered my patience for noise?I think I would have been more enchanted if Pokko had just found the drum and other animals in the wood reacted negatively, until slowly, as she practiced, they didn’t. Maybe the other musicians have been similarly told to stop and they all need each other to make music? Maybe I’m quibbling?! Are these stories we have all already heard? Anyhow, the art is great. There are some choice moments of melodramatic zooms into character’s faces. Definitely check out this book.
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  • Baby Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    Hello, friends! Our book today is Pokko And The Drum by Matthew Forsythe, a cheeky tale of a blooming percussionist.Pokko the frog receives a gift from her parents: a drum (it is a terrible mistake on their part). She proves to be quite the prodigy, though her father requests that she move her rehearsals outside. He also requests that she not make too much noise; they are a simple frog family living in a little mushroom, and don’t want to attract too much attention. Drumming quietly to keep Hello, friends! Our book today is Pokko And The Drum by Matthew Forsythe, a cheeky tale of a blooming percussionist.Pokko the frog receives a gift from her parents: a drum (it is a terrible mistake on their part). She proves to be quite the prodigy, though her father requests that she move her rehearsals outside. He also requests that she not make too much noise; they are a simple frog family living in a little mushroom, and don’t want to attract too much attention. Drumming quietly to keep herself company, Pokko is surprised when a banjo-playing raccoon joins her tune. Playing a bit louder, she attracts more company, in the form of of a trumpeter rabbit and a music-enthusiast wolf (though the wolf earns a stern warning from Pokko when he eats the rabbit: “No more eating band members or you’re out of the band”). Pokko’s talent attracts more and more musicians and fans, until she is leading a massive parade… right toward her quiet little mushroom home.What a marvelously bizarre and uplifting tale. With the exception of one slightly dark joke – the wolf’s consumption of the rabbit is not graphic, but certainly jarring in an otherwise innocuous tale – Pokko’s story is one that expertly blends deadpan comedy with a sweet message about supporting talent and the power of music. The beautifully colorful and retro-inspired illustrations are equally appealing, and the well-designed characters and visual gags add to the absurdity. The length was perfect, and JJ absolutely adored the artwork. This is a strange one, to be sure, but it leaves readers with a smile and a warm heart – we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
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  • Tonja Drecker
    January 1, 1970
    An irritating hobby unveils itself as a huge success and draws like minded together to raise fun for everyone.Pokko is a little frog, whose parents have given him many presents, which proved to be mistakes. But the present they regretted giving him the most was a drum. When conversation became impossible to due to the noise, the send him outside, but warn him not to draw too much attention to their humble home. Off Pokko goes and, at first, tries to enjoy the quiet, but soon he misses some An irritating hobby unveils itself as a huge success and draws like minded together to raise fun for everyone.Pokko is a little frog, whose parents have given him many presents, which proved to be mistakes. But the present they regretted giving him the most was a drum. When conversation became impossible to due to the noise, the send him outside, but warn him not to draw too much attention to their humble home. Off Pokko goes and, at first, tries to enjoy the quiet, but soon he misses some noise. So he plays his drum. When a new noise joins in, he notices that a raccoon is now tagging along, playing its instrument. And the adventure begins.Firstly, I love the illustrations in this book. They are vibrant and as full of life as the music Pokko seems to play. It's a delight to flip through these and watch as he heads into the forest and meets more and more friends.Although the story centers around Pokko, it's not actually his personality that shines. Rather, the story starts off with a bit of humor, which will guarantee more than a giggle or two. When Pokko is sent outside to play (something many listeners will probably sympathize with), it's fun to watch as he's joined by other creatures and their instruments. There are a couple surprises packed in, which give the story an unexpected twist or two. The excitement and passion of the other animals radiates from the pages, and the ending wraps things up in a wonderful way. It's a fun read.I received a complimentary copy and we enjoyed the tale so much that I'm leaving our honest thoughts.
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    Pokko’s quiet frog parents had made a big mistake giving her the drum. When they tried to discuss it together, they couldn’t hear themselves. So Pokko’s father sends her outside with the drum, asking her to play quietly and not draw attention from anyone. So Pokko heads out quietly. The forest is very quiet, too quiet. So Pokko starts to play her drum. Another animal joins in and follows Pokko. More animals join until they have a parade of music. Back home, it’s lunch time. Pokko’s father Pokko’s quiet frog parents had made a big mistake giving her the drum. When they tried to discuss it together, they couldn’t hear themselves. So Pokko’s father sends her outside with the drum, asking her to play quietly and not draw attention from anyone. So Pokko heads out quietly. The forest is very quiet, too quiet. So Pokko starts to play her drum. Another animal joins in and follows Pokko. More animals join until they have a parade of music. Back home, it’s lunch time. Pokko’s father listens for her and faintly hears music that is coming closer. He’s about to discover that Pokko can really play that drum!Forsythe has created a book that is a complete delight. While telling the story of the rather loud and very brave Pokko, he also gives readers moments where the story pauses. These are moments like seeing other gifts Pokko’s parents have given her, like the slingshot and the llama. Forsythe isolates these moments giving them entire pages and time to have real impact. The same happens when Pokko must confront the fox who is eating others in the band. The overall storytelling is just as strong, offering a folktale feel with a modern twist.The illustrations are done in watercolor, gouache and colored pencil. They have a gorgeous sunlit quality to them that is saturated and rich. They use patterns and colors to great effect as well.Unique and lovely, this is one to beat the drum for! Appropriate for ages 2-4.
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  • Laurie Hnatiuk
    January 1, 1970
    There are layers and tributes to this picture book - some which I missed upon my initial reading so I am glad that I went back, reread and took a closer look.Pokko's parents give her a drum for a gift. and When her playing becomes so loud, she is asked to go play outside but told to be cautious as they live in the woods and do not want to draw attention to themselves. Pokko quietly starts walking and tapping on her drum only to be joined by various forest animals playing instruments gradually There are layers and tributes to this picture book - some which I missed upon my initial reading so I am glad that I went back, reread and took a closer look.Pokko's parents give her a drum for a gift. and When her playing becomes so loud, she is asked to go play outside but told to be cautious as they live in the woods and do not want to draw attention to themselves. Pokko quietly starts walking and tapping on her drum only to be joined by various forest animals playing instruments gradually getting louder. When one animal makes a poor choice, we see Pokko stand up to the animal, and when amends are made they continue on until the entire forest is making and enjoying the music. The animals with Pokko leading travel to her home where her father has been calling her for supper and both parents are swept away in the noise where if one could be heard over the music would hear her father proclaim her talent.It's a simple premise - a poorly choice gift given to a daughter that creates havoc to her parents' quiet lives - except it is so much more. It's a tribute to Arnold Lobel type illustrations, a nod to Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back, gender reversals, getting lost in a good book, interests varying with individuals and allowing readers to see females as leaders.
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  • Melissa Mcavoy
    January 1, 1970
    4 1/2 stars. There is a great pleasure in reading a picture book that is like no other you have ever read. Pokko and the Drum is beautiful in a way I have never seen before. The color palette, illustration style and placement of images on the page are all perfect and unusual. The simple text demonstrates impeccable timing, is terse without feeling spare, and is often hilarious. This will be a joy to read aloud. There is a moment of tension in the middle of the story that the author doesn't 4 1/2 stars. There is a great pleasure in reading a picture book that is like no other you have ever read. Pokko and the Drum is beautiful in a way I have never seen before. The color palette, illustration style and placement of images on the page are all perfect and unusual. The simple text demonstrates impeccable timing, is terse without feeling spare, and is often hilarious. This will be a joy to read aloud. There is a moment of tension in the middle of the story that the author doesn't rescue the reader from, which is why the simplicity of the ending left me feeling flatter than I expected. It alone among all the pages feels as if it could have been lifted from a more common, and less interesting story.
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    There are a lot of great things about this book. First the illustrations. I looove them. Such a nice use of tone and texture. Nice earthy color palette. Even white space is used well. There's great deadpan humor and the pacing is great (the combination of "Too quiet" and those narrowed eyes is perfect!). It was reminiscent of Jon Klassen in those moments. But the story is not as strong as it could be. Wolf eating the rabbit is very funny, but it feels like a non sequitur. Overall I think it There are a lot of great things about this book. First the illustrations. I looove them. Such a nice use of tone and texture. Nice earthy color palette. Even white space is used well. There's great deadpan humor and the pacing is great (the combination of "Too quiet" and those narrowed eyes is perfect!). It was reminiscent of Jon Klassen in those moments. But the story is not as strong as it could be. Wolf eating the rabbit is very funny, but it feels like a non sequitur. Overall I think it weakens the story. I wanted to like this more than I did. Many well done individual moments and elements, leading to a feeling of meh at the end. I look forward to Forsythe's next book.
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  • Villain E
    January 1, 1970
    I don't like the beginning of this. It's from the parents' perspective and talks about how they regret giving the kid the drum because it's annoying. And it talks about other things they regret giving the kid. That's not information you share! You don't tell little kids that they get on your nerves, they aren't emotionally mature enough to process that. Some adults aren't emotionally mature enough to process that.Anyway, Pokko's parents send her out of the house because the drumming is bothering I don't like the beginning of this. It's from the parents' perspective and talks about how they regret giving the kid the drum because it's annoying. And it talks about other things they regret giving the kid. That's not information you share! You don't tell little kids that they get on your nerves, they aren't emotionally mature enough to process that. Some adults aren't emotionally mature enough to process that.Anyway, Pokko's parents send her out of the house because the drumming is bothering them. But the other animals in the forest slowly join in to form an impromptu marching band.
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  • Ad Astra
    January 1, 1970
    God bless every band parent who has a percussion kid. This book is hilarious, and Matthew always leaves small details in is illustrations that I love to pour over as I read this book to my daughter over and over again. I picked this up at the library since the illustrations caught my eye and haven't looked back. I'm checking out everything with his name attached. I now own "The Bad Mood and the Stick" which I also love and recommend although that has a different author. This book is the Matthew God bless every band parent who has a percussion kid. This book is hilarious, and Matthew always leaves small details in is illustrations that I love to pour over as I read this book to my daughter over and over again. I picked this up at the library since the illustrations caught my eye and haven't looked back. I'm checking out everything with his name attached. I now own "The Bad Mood and the Stick" which I also love and recommend although that has a different author. This book is the Matthew Forsythe gateway book. Phew! A collection to refresh our night time story routine!
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  • Barbra
    January 1, 1970
    This vividly illustrated book is about marching to your own beat! When a little frog is given a drum his parents realize it's just too loud to play inside. Before the drum we review the hilarious gifts they got frog before that were disasters. The cute pictures of these gifts will create stories of their own. Once outside he begins to drum and finds a whole band of animals have joined him. A cute story but my only question is, why did the wolf have to eat the rabbit? I felt that was totally not This vividly illustrated book is about marching to your own beat! When a little frog is given a drum his parents realize it's just too loud to play inside. Before the drum we review the hilarious gifts they got frog before that were disasters. The cute pictures of these gifts will create stories of their own. Once outside he begins to drum and finds a whole band of animals have joined him. A cute story but my only question is, why did the wolf have to eat the rabbit? I felt that was totally not necessary in this cute story about embracing who you are.
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  • Marcy Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    There are books I just know I’m going to love from looking at the cover. A frog? With a drum? And all this gorgeous art? This is the kind of book I imagine I’ll be pulling off the shelf to read decades from now. It’s so beautiful, and the story is sweet and wonderful, too. What child hasn’t been told she’s making too much noise? The way Pokko turns this problem on its head, by bringing along a merry band, and marching to her own beat, is really inspiring, and I love the turn at the end when the There are books I just know I’m going to love from looking at the cover. A frog? With a drum? And all this gorgeous art? This is the kind of book I imagine I’ll be pulling off the shelf to read decades from now. It’s so beautiful, and the story is sweet and wonderful, too. What child hasn’t been told she’s making too much noise? The way Pokko turns this problem on its head, by bringing along a merry band, and marching to her own beat, is really inspiring, and I love the turn at the end when the parents can’t help but notice her talent.
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  • Roben
    January 1, 1970
    I would give this ten stars if I could. Hands down my favorite book for 2019. Bravo, Matthew Forsythe! The illustrations are delightful. Especially when Pokko's little parade gets going - exploring all the animals and creatures is simply splendid. Is that an eye peeking out from the trees? What is that cat doing? And the text - "It had just rained and the forest was sparkling like an emerald." And look at Pokko's face when she decides it is just too quiet. I certainly have to agree that Pokko is I would give this ten stars if I could. Hands down my favorite book for 2019. Bravo, Matthew Forsythe! The illustrations are delightful. Especially when Pokko's little parade gets going - exploring all the animals and creatures is simply splendid. Is that an eye peeking out from the trees? What is that cat doing? And the text - "It had just rained and the forest was sparkling like an emerald." And look at Pokko's face when she decides it is just too quiet. I certainly have to agree that Pokko is pretty good!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Even the funniest books don't often get me to actually laugh out loud. But this... the humor is just... and the dad's facial expressions... and the use of the page's space and the comedic timing... well, they're all perfect. It didn't hurt that my almost-four-year old couldn't stop giggling.I think my favorite part is when Pokko has to stand up to the wolf, who makes a grievous error in their behavior choices. But I also fell in love with the hapless frog parents.
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  • Cara Byrne
    January 1, 1970
    "And no one could hear what he was saying, but if they could ... they all would have agreed"Pokko plays her drum, does her thing, and all those around - eventually - follow her extraordinary beat. I love the way Forsythe engages with emotion and humor in this book, though less so with Pokko than with the other characters surrounding her. The style and tone of the book is reminiscent of Frog and Toad - but with a clear 2019 vibe.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I *loved* this book. Muted palette ilustrations and darkly humorous tone reminiscent of Mac Barnett's "The wolf, the Duck and the Mouse". I loved how it starts to build a pattern (animals start joining Pokko's drumming), then he gives it a surprising twist that still makes utter sense. And the frog eyes are *so* expressive. And I love how silly the mother is for continuing to read her book while being carried away by the dancing crowd of animals at the end.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so good and so interesting. The colors are absolutely amazing - no digital work. The story is cute, but I think the illustrations are really what stand out. The patterns are fantastic. The looks you get from the animals' eyes are great. Very recognizably, he illustrated The Brilliant Deep by Kate Messner. This is his first solo book he's done in 7 years. I look forward to more from him!
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  • Peacegal
    January 1, 1970
    One word: Wow! This wonderfully-illustrated book reminds me of classics of years past. I could definitely imagine reading this book as a kid 30+ years ago (although I wouldn't have liked the brief reference to one character being eaten.) Humor, fantasy, and surrealism combine to create a great picture book.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Ok, as I started reading this to myself I kept laughing! I then decided to read aloud to co-workers who also loved it. It's such a great story with amazing illustrations! This will be a great read-aloud for 4-7 y/o.
  • Vicki
    January 1, 1970
    I love the idea of this book, but was disturbed by the rabbit getting eaten by the wolf part. I can’t imagine reading this to preschoolers or kindergarteners because of it.The art work is wonderful and large.
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