Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe

Pokko’s parents gave her a drum—major mistake. After listening to her nonstop racket, Pokko’s father sends her outside to play … quietly. After all, they’re a peaceful frog family and they don’t to call too much attention to their mushroom home. But after her drumming attracts a band of animals, her parents just might view her noisy hobby in a different light.

From the cover to the endpapers to the full-page spreads, Pokko and the Drum is a symphony of color and movement. Through careful watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations, Matthew Forsythe has crafted visuals that balance subtle whimsy with bold imagery. The result is a rich and often funny experience—watch for Pokko’s mother and her ever-present book—that lends itself to multiple readings.

But that’s not to suggest that Forsythe’s images overshadow his text. Rather, he compliments them with a blunt, wry style. Pokko bounds along on a drumming adventure peppered with humor and unpredictability. One minute she’s driving her parents bonkers and the next she’s accidentally forming a band. At the end, it’s all tied together by a positive, empowering button.

Somehow both timeless and fresh, Pokko and the Drum has all the makings of a modern picture book classic.


Title: Pokko and the Drum
Author: Matthew Forsythe
Publisher: Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication Date: October 01, 2019
Classification: Picture Book

Forsythe’s Website | Publisher’s Page | Goodreads


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