Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: NY, 1994.
Sitting on the front steps, Max sees two sticks blown from a tree. He observes the sounds around him and imitates them. He starts off tapping on his leg and tries a few other objects as instruments. At the end a marching band goes by. A drummer who notices Max drumming throws him a set of drumsticks.
Max was initially sitting quietly watching clouds. In a contemplative mood, he focuses on the sounds and creates his own. Have you ever had a day or moments when your surroundings are distant but sounds seem louder, in the forefront? I imagine this is how it would be for Max. And this one afternoon is beginning a lifetime of musical exploration for him. As a cool note, Brian Pinkney says he has played drums since eight years old, and he keeps drumsticks in his studio to play with on breaks.
Although I like the vibrant color, I wasn't immediately drawn to the illustration. They are indistinct. It's possible the concept was more appealing to me, so I ignored the pictures at first. Looking again, I was not only drawn into them, but wanting to look again and again. I saw that what at first seemed blurry was swirling used for a sense of movement. Everything has this swirliness. I think it is about everything being alive and having its own music. This is a book for reading over and over. A book deeper than it appears at first.
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