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Pokko and the Drum

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,231 ratings  ·  258 reviews
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 c ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  1,231 ratings  ·  258 reviews

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Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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 thi
I love the beautiful watercolors in this story. We see our main frog Pokko and she starts out walking and playing her drum. It’s a full page spread with a hint of water color in the corner and as she begins to play louder with more confidence, the color spreads until there is a whole forest of color. It’s lovely.

Parents buy Pokko a drum. It’s loud. They tell her to play outside and so she basically starts a parade, leading the animals of the forest. The wolf does eat a bunny, but there are no co
First rule of parenting: Never give your child a drum

Second rule of parenting: If you break rule number one do not be surprised if your child comes home one day with a veritable parade of musicians and music fans who carry you bodily from your home while you are in the middle of making dinner and/or trying to finish your book.

Because that's what happens here and its WONDERFUL.
Rian *fire and books*
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 18, 2019 added it
Shelves: picture-books, 2019
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. ...more
Laura Harrison
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Caldecott. Calling it.
Carol Tilley
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, kids, betterness
Pokko is my new hero.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favorite part of this book (other than the lush illustrations, spunky lead character and well-placed page turns) is the fact that the dad is making dinner and the mom is reading her book. It sounds like my house.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pokko’s parents gave her a drum—major mistake. After listening to her nonstop racket, Pokko’s father sends her outside to play … quietly. After all, they’re a peaceful frog family and they don’t to call too much attention to their mushroom home. But after her drumming attracts a band of animals, her parents just might view her noisy hobby in a different light.

From the cover to the endpapers to the full-page spreads, Pokko and the Drum is a symphony of color and movement. Through careful watercol
M. Lauritano
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
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 her ...more
Christie Angleton
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 100-new-in-2020
I love this book SO MUCH! The characters’ expressions are so hilarious - and I love that Pokko’s father is wearing an apron and cooking dinner while her mother reads a book!
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love the artwork, and it's just adorable. Kid keeps asking to read it too. ...more
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For every parent who has regretted buying their kid an instrument until music replaced the noise, for every kid who needs a little encouragement to follow their passions, and for anyone who enjoys a fun story and beautiful illustrations, this book is for you!
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this made me giggle
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, funny
If I could only use one emoji as the review of this picture book, it would still totally make sense, because it would be that laughing so hard that tears are coming out of its eyes face. This book is hilarious. I love it.
Sandy Brehl
I embrace the annual ALA Youth Media Awards each year because it draws my attention to outstanding books that have somehow missed my attention during the year. This is one of those, and I adored the exuberant Pokko, her drum, her animal magnetism, her leadership:
"... wolf ate the rabbit, and Pokko stopped playing her drum..."
"No more eating band members or you're out of the band."
Wolf says he is sorry, means it, rejoins the band and peace reigns- other than the raucous spontaneous music made b
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Abby Johnson
With gorgeous watercolor illustrations (what a color palette!) and a surprising, energetic and humorous story, this is a don't-miss picture book. When Pokko's drum gets to be too loud, her mother and father suggest that she play outside for a bit. She is soon joined by a posse of instrument-playing animals and a posse of music fans, all following Pokko, who is literally marching to the beat of her own drummer. Her mother and father might not like drawing attention to themselves, but Pokko's lead ...more
Villain E
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is basically the same as the first half of Mama Don't Allow by Thacker Hurd.

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.

Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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 weak ...more
Michael Ben Silva III
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A bell-buzzer 2019 favorite! I love this book. The first page could be taught in a masterclass on opening lines for any level of writing: "The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her the drum. They had made mistakes before." And the illustrations are beautiful! I'd hang almost any page of this as art on my wall. There is a dark moment in the middle of the story, in which a wolf eats a rabbit, but the writing is so tight in this that the combination of a laugh ("(view spoiler) ...more
Erin Buhr
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
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. ...more
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Colorful, very different, and spectacular illustrations in this story about Pokko the frog whose parents made a mistake and gave her a drum. What parent hasn’t said to their child, “ Why don’t you take that outside,”. which is what Papa frog says to Pokko and then the real drumming begins. A unique satisfying story.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture_books
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.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book! I enjoyed the bit of humor between Pokko's parents (which I'm sure parents will enjoy) and I really loved that this book encourages kids to march to the beat of their own drum - sometimes literally! ...more
Wonderful picture book about a girl frog whose parents regret giving her a drum. She plays it all day and night. One day she goes out into the woods and various animals who play instruments follow her and a band is made. More and more people follow. And her parents?
Michael Fitzgerald
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Nice illustrations - the frogs are reminiscent of Arnold Lobel, and there is lots of color. The story, while occasionally humorous, meanders rather aimlessly.
Megan Wagner
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I loved this! I thought it was so funny!
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Matt lives in Montreal, where he makes books and designs for animation.

His first authored picture book, Pokko and the Drum, is out in fall 2019 from Simon & Schuster.

He has lived and worked in Dublin, London, Seoul, and Los Angeles. His first comic, Ojingogo, was nominated for two Eisner awards and won a Doug Wright Award for Best Experimental Comic.

He was also the Lead Designer on the animated s

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“I'm in a weird place because the book is about to come out. So I'm basically just walking around like a raw nerve and I'm not sure that I...
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