Henri and his parents leave their homeland, Haiti, after they receive an invitation from anuncle to come to New York City. Only able to afford a small, rickety boat, the family setsout in the middle o
Henri and his parents leave their homeland, Haiti, after they receive an invitation from an
uncle to come to New York City. Only able to afford a small, rickety boat, the family sets
out in the middle of the night in search of a better life. Out at sea, Henri dreams of what
life will be like "across the great waters."
Then the small boat overturns, and Henri is placed on top of the boat as his parents
drift further out at sea. Overcome with grief, Henri retreats into himself and is no longer
able to speak once he reaches land. Encouraged by his uncle and neighbor, Henri takes
a bucket and plays on it like a drum. The drumming becomes a link to his past and a
conduit for his emotions. Slowly, through his drumming and the kindness of his uncle
and friend, Henri learns to navigate this new and foreign world without his parents.
Calling the Water Drum is a tender and beautiful tribute to the resiliency of children
and the human spirit.
View Biographical note
LaTisha Redding makes her picture book debut with Calling the Water Drum.She was inspired to write this story based on the memories of some of herHaitian friends' accounts of how they arrived in the United States. This book is a tribute to everyone who has courageously set forth with hope to start anew life in a new country. Redding lives in the sunshine state, Florida. You can find her online at latisharedding.com or @LaTishaRedding.
Aaron Boyd has illustrated numerous picture books, including Calling the Water Drum, Janna and the Kings,and Babu's Song for Lee & Low Books, as well as the chapter book The Story of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis. His work has been recognized by the Children's Africana Book Award and the International Literacy Association (ILA). He lives with his wife, son, and dog in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at aaronboydart.blogspot.com.
View Description for sales people
Key Selling Points
— Now in paperback!
— Presents the timely topic of refugees and immigration, and the hardships faced in
search of a better life.
— Touches on other timely topics, such as the aftermath of devastating storms, family
separation, and the honest treatment of grief and loss, that can spark discussion.
— Shows a realistic setting and characters who will resonate with readers.
— Offers children positive, creative ways to express their emotions and cope with grief.
— Will appeal to artistic boys and girls who love to play music or use art for
Calling the Water Drum | Winter 2022 | Lee & Low Books | Page 1 of 4
— Explores the universal family dynamic of having to cope with the death of a loved one.
— Striking, vivid illustrations by Aaron Boyd capture the setting and subject matter with
grace and dignity.
— An author's note offers further information about Haitian refugees as well as the
personal inspiration behind the story.
A moving story about a family's attempt to flee Haiti in a boat, and a young boy who
bravely learns to navigate a new world through playing his drum.
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978—039925—452—9 The Heart and the Bottle $14.99
978—160060—655—7 The Blue Roses $14.95
978—160060—275—7 Babu's Song $10.95
978—162014—253—0 Janna and the Kings $10.95
978—162014—854—9 The Story of Civil Rights Hero John Lewis $9.95
JUV / Social Themes / Emigration & Immigration
JUV / Social Themes / Death, Grief, Bereavement
JUV / Social Themes / Friendship