Calling the Water Drum
The story of a young Haitian boy who loses his parents as they attempt to flee Haiti in a boat, and after this loss can only communicate with the outside world through playing his drum.
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.
Calling the Water Drum is a tender and beautiful tribute to the resiliency of children and the human spirit.
Lee & Low Books, 9781620141946, 32pp.
Publication Date: December 31, 2016