Calling the Water Drum
Written by LaTisha Redding
Illustrated by Aaron Boyd
Published by Lee & Low Books
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.
Publication Date: February 2022
Available As: Paperback
Publication Status: Hardcover Out of Print
Picture Book , Age 04 or older
Community Represented: Haitian/Haitian American
Themes: Family Relationship: Parents, Immigrant: Reunion of Family, Loss of Childhood, Multilingual Character, Refugee: War/Conflict, The Arts, Trauma & Healing: Death of Family or Friend, Welcoming by Individual
Setting: Haiti, United States (New York City)
Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Immigrant
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Source:Lee & Low Books