by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Picture book biography
Interest level: K-5
Reading level: 3.8
5 out of 5 stars
This is a picture book biography of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Millo is a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who dreamed of playing the drums. The text and illustrations illustrate how completely absorbed with rhythm and drumming the young girl was. Unfortunately, in Cuba in the 1920s, only boys were allowed to play the drums. Millo had to convince her family and find a teacher that would help her to achieve her dreams.
The text is written as free verse poetry which is accessible to younger children. The illustrations are vibrant and colorful and depict Millo’s dreams and the tropical climate of Cuba.
Drum Dream Girl could be recommended for reading in music class or independently to girls who are interested in drums. Additionally, it is a story about not giving up on your dreams, so can be enjoyed by all.