Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

Written by Margarita Engle 
Illustrated by  Rafael López

  •             Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  •             Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  •             Hardcover: 48 pages
  •             Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 31, 2015)
  •             Language: English
  •             ISBN-10: 0544102290
  •             ISBN-13: 978-0544102293

In this picture book bursting with vibrance and rhythm, a girl dreams of playing the drums in 1930s Cuba, when the music-filled island had a taboo against female drummers.

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.

Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American poet and novelist whose work has been published in many countries. Her many acclaimed books include Silver People, The Lightning Dreamer, The Wild Book, and The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor Book. She is a several-time winner of the Pura Belpré and Américas awards, as well as other prestigious honors. She lives with her husband in Northern California. For more information, visit

Rafael López grew up in Mexico City, where he was immersed in the rick cultural heritage and color of street life. His vibrant picture books include Tito Puente, Mambo King and My Name is Celia, both written by Monica Brown, and Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora. He has received the Pura Belpré and Américas awards multiple times. An acclaimed muralist, he has designed community-based mural projects nationwide. He divides his time between San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and San Diego, California. For more information, visit

1 comment:

Margarita Engle said...

Thank you for this lovely review!