Barbara Braxton barbara.288 at bigpond.com
Mon Dec 5 06:03:27 AEDT 2016

The Little Drummer Boy

Bruce Whatley

Random House, 2011

32pp., pbk., RRP $A9.99


When she was a little girl, Annie's grandfather carved the little drummer
boy from the leg of an old oak table left on the street, painted it
carefully and wrapped it up in paper and twine.  Right from the start Annie
loved it and it always had pride of place at the top of the Christmas tree.
Year after year, no matter where she was, it would look down like the
guardian angel of Christmas.  Even when she had her own children and they
had children, the little drummer boy was there at the top no matter how many
other decorations were added.  Even when he was getting a little faded,
Annie put it down to his being loved and loved him more.

But there came a day when there was no Christmas tree and no Annie...

This is a beautiful, touching story of the enduring nature of love and
Christmas traditions, traditions that bind families together across time and
place at this time of the year.  Even my own son, now 42, was horrified that
I was contemplating not putting up a tree even though his family would not
be able to visit this year.  He needed to know that what has been familiar
to him for 42 years would still continue anyway.

As well as being a charming story, it is also a time to explore the unique
things that each child's family does at this time, the things that have
endured over time and those things that they will pass on to their own
children.  It even offers scope to look at the origins of some of the things
that we, as a society, do each year and speculate on whether we will ever
lose those northern winter images and customs that persist and why they have
such deep roots in such a summer society anyway.

In the meantime enjoy my favourite version of my favourite Christmas song
from my favourite group https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ_MGWio-vc



Barbara Braxton

Teacher Librarian

M.Ed.(TL), M.App.Sci.(TL), M.I.S. (Children's Services) 

Dromkeen Librarian's Award 2003



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