Monday, March 1, 2010

A Gift From Carnival

Carnival and Mardi Gras are over. They aren’t forgotten, however. One remembrance is the steel drum or street pan which was probably invented in the late 1930's during Carnival in the Caribbean. The sweetness and purity of its music needs to be heard to be truly appreciated. Steel pan music on your Ipod? Lucky you!

STEEL PAN MAN OF HARLEM by Colin Bootman, Carolrhoda Books, 2009

Rats everywhere. Rats! The story will sound familiar and it should. It’s a retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. This one is set in the Harlem Renaissance, a rich cultural celebration of art and rhythm. Lively illustrations dance off the page, enticing readers to follow. Although the book is recommended for readers aged 5-9, older readers and parents, too, will find much to enjoy. Author/illustrator Bootman and his steel pan man demonstrate the importance of doing the right thing and keeping one’s word.

The steel pan is now considered Trinidad’s national instrument and a symbol of Caribbean unity and culture. Its sound is guaranteed to cure the winter doldrums.

Will it bring spring?

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