In My Neighborhood

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A search for one's place in the world provides the storyline: The narrator, a drum, feels like an outcast because he alone--unlike his family and friends--cannot play a melody. Like all kids growing up, he must find out where he fits.

The narrator, a drum, wanders the streets of Coelho's vividly realized city of musical instruments--where even the birds sprout miniature trumpets from their mouths--feeling like an outcast because he alone, among all his family and neighbors, can't play a melody. He adores his violin brother, cello father, and piano mother but feels he has nothing to offer to their music. search for identity in a city of musical instruments.

My father is Cello, and oh, what a fellow.The tone of his laugh is low, smooth, and mellow.But me? My name's Drum. BOOM-CLACK, RAT-A-TAT.My head is a snare and I wear a hi-hat.My stomach's a bass drum, my arms are drumsticks, and my only song is CLICK-CLACK, CLACK-CLICK.

But one day a trio of saxophones ask him to join their band, and what they tell him gives him an epiphany So that's what a drum does! I now understand.I don't carry a tune; I carry a band. But he must still prove it to himself, and that takes all his courage.

Loubriel's story of bravery and identity, infused with Latin rhythms and joy, provides a fine vehicle for Coelho's vibrant technique and palette. Coelho's city of music bursts with exuberance. In backmatter, Loubriel, a lifelong drummer, explains how the drum kit lays a song's foundation. The bass drum is the heartbeat; the hi hat is the dynamic metronome; the snare drum is the drum kit's singer.